Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) – Foam rolling is one form of SMR: the objective is to use implements such as foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and many other speciality items in an effort to “massage your muscles.”
Although the exact mechanisms behind SMR are unclear, consistent foam rolling enhances blood flow and enables nutrients to reach the desired tissues, while making sure that metabolic wastes are removed. This leads to improvements in range of motion, and decreases an over active muscle tone. A perfect protocol to follow after activity, exercise or training.
By spreading out tight restrictive fascia and increasing flexibility and elasticity of the area being treated allowing for greater range of movement, it can be argued it is a great protocol to follow before activity or exercise as well.
Foam rolling has allowed thousands of athletes to train at high levels and ultimately avoid some of the stiffness that comes with heavy training and also assists speeding up the recovery process when done in conjunction with other recovery protocols.