7 Benefits of Foam Rolling for Weight Loss
Lack of exercise makes you feel stiffened up and weak. It also allows fat to creep in and settle underneath your skin. So you finally make the decision and start exercising regularly. Good for you!
The momentum doesn’t last long, though, as soreness from exercise begins to kick in, forcing you to rest for extended periods of time until your sore muscles recover.
You start to wonder: how will I ever lose weight at such a slow rate? This leads you to explore different weight loss tactics; most popular of which is foam rolling.
Can foam rolling really help you lose weight, though? In this article, we go over all you need to know about the benefits of foam rolling for weight loss, so be sure to stick around.
Will Foam Rolling Help Me Lose Weight?
Yes, but in an indirect way. A foam roller won’t shed fat, but it’ll help you recover fast, and thus work out more often. This will translate to burning more calories, and ultimately losing weight.
A foam roller is a cylindrical tube whose surface can be bumpy at places and smooth at others. To move your body weight against such a surface is to literally massage yourself. That’s why foam rolling can also be called self-massaging, or a self-myofascial release exercise.
Known to be effective, a foam roller is used in most fitness programs. To get a grasp of what makes it good for weight loss, we need to dive into some science.
- Related Reading: Best Tools for Weight Loss
How Can Foam Rolling Help Me Lose Weight?
Foam rolling can ultimately contribute to weight loss in one of seven ways.
1. Reduces Soreness
There are two types of soreness that happen due to a workout. First, there’s acute muscle soreness, which happens during or immediately after exercising. This is the one you push through to get that one last rep.
The second type of soreness is called delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). As the name implies, this type takes place 12 to 24 hours after a workout, peaking between the second and third day.
While only the second type will delay your return to the gym, foam rolling decreases soreness from both types. Thus, you can resume your efforts at the gym, and also do better while you’re in there. At the end of the day, this will mean losing more weight.
You might ask, isn’t this soreness a sign that I’ve done a good job at the gym and now I’m growing? Well, contrary to popular belief, pain doesn’t have to be in the equation for you to achieve your fitness goals. It could even be an indication that you should rest, and maybe use a technique like foam rolling.
2. Relaxes Tense Muscles and Fascia
What causes soreness after a workout isn’t just your muscles. Fascia, which is the layer surrounding muscles, is a major cause of post-workout discomfort. This layer is particularly prone to tightening, which leads to pain.
This tightening of fascia is called adhesion; a process in which the stretchy fascia is rendered sticky. This can put you out of the gym for a while until the fascia returns back to normal. Here is when foam rolling comes to the rescue, as it can reduce this unwanted adhesion.
3. Releases Trigger Points
Simply put, trigger points are hotspots of pain residing within a muscle. When an examiner puts their finger on exactly that point, a person will most likely jump or make a movement indicating intense pain.
Left untreated, these trigger points can cause long-standing pain, which can keep you from exercising and losing weight. Depending on the severity, trigger points may require seeing a physiotherapist; however, I’ll tell you how a foam roller can help you release them.
To treat a trigger point, roll on the foam roller until you feel sharp pain somewhere in the muscle. This means you’ve spotted a trigger point. Upon feeling this sting, rest on the roller in that same position for 20 seconds before continuing to roll.
4. Relieves Pain
Apart from relaxing muscles and releasing trigger points, foam rolling can relieve pain in another way. Research suggests it can do so by acting directly on the nerves coursing within the tissues. Thus, foam rolling has the ability to promote pain relief, putting you back on track with exercising as soon as possible.
5. Increases Muscular Efficiency
There’s research proving that foam rolling enhances the communication between your nerves and muscles. In other words, it enhances what’s known as neuromuscular efficiency.
What does this translate to? This means you’ll need less work from your muscles to achieve the same task. Of course, that’ll give you space to practice more, and thus lose more fat.
To add to the efficiency, foam rolling also increases the range of motion of your joints and muscles.
6. Increases Blood Flow and Metabolism
When you contract your muscles during exercise, you increase the blood flow going to them. When you massage yourself with a foam roller, you also increase the blood flow. In the latter case, however, the increase in blood flow doesn’t come with straining the muscle.
The increased blood flow brought about by foam rolling will greatly help with the recovery process. There’s more than that. Since metabolism and blood flow are notorious for being coupled together, there’s a chance that your metabolism may increase. This will lead to more calories burnt, and more weight lost.
7. Prevents Injuries
The effects of foam rolling compelled researchers to state that the activity can prevent injuries, leading to a rise in the use of that technique.
In their client-centric programs, many coaches include foam rolling to both prevent injuries and recover from them.
Anything that prevents injury helps you lose weight and get in shape. Because if someone’s body can’t exercise or move adequately, then losing weight will be that much harder.
Which Foam Roller Should I Get for Weight Loss?
Any foam roller will aid in your weight loss efforts in an indirect way. However, we can offer you some recommendations.
Best Foam Roller for Weight Loss for Beginners
We recommend the STOTT PILATES as a soft foam roller option. It’s built from high-quality EVA foam. This specific foam roller is durable and withstands rigorous, repeated use, because of its durability, its price is a little higher. However, it is worth it to have a soft roller that will not quickly fall apart.
Best Foam Roller for Experienced Users
If you are already used to foam rolling, we recommend the Amazon Basics Foam Roller. You can read our full review of this foam roller here.
- High-density foam roller with molded edges
- Ideal for balance, strengthening, flexibility, and rehab exercises
- Made in the USA from molded polypropylene to maintain firmness
- Lightweight, easy to clean and transport
- Measures approximately 36 x 6 x 6 inches (L x W x H)
Other Buying Guides to Help You Pick the Best Foam Roller for You
Check out these very helpful buyers guides directed at helping you to decide which foam roller is best for you and your unique needs.
Final Words on the Benefits of Foam Rolling for Weight Loss
Weight loss can be quite challenging, which is why using all the help you can get is a good idea.
General weight loss methods such as healthy nutrition and regular exercise are imperative, but there are more subtle approaches that are often missed.
Foam rolling is one of those subtle, often-missed techniques that can help you lose weight very quickly. That’s as it enables you to exercise as best you can.
Without techniques such as foam rolling, people will be at more risk of trigger points, excessive soreness, and even injuries. That’s why foam rolling can save the day when it comes to losing weight!
Last update on 2021-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API