Stretching vs Foam Rolling: Which Will Come out on Top?
Many people wonder if one is more beneficial than the other, which then leads to many people choosing to either stretch or foam roll before a workout. Which one should you do? Is one more beneficial than the other? The short answer: Both stretching and foam rolling are important to incorporate into your fitness routine.
When it comes to muscle relief, foam rolling is offered and encouraged in most box gyms, some studios even dedicate entire classes to foam rolling. So, what are the benefits of foam rolling?
· Limited mobility and muscle tightness can lead to pain and injury. When foam rolling is done on a consistent basis it helps keep your muscles loose and smooth overtime, preventing both from occurring.
· Foam rolling stimulates blood flow which helps wake your muscles up before a workout or a run and bring nutrients to your muscles which leads to a faster recovery.
Now, just because you have foam rolled doesn’t mean you should skip stretching. Both our key to keeping your muscles healthy and happy! When doing a warm-up before a workout you are getting your body ready for what’s to come. 5-10 minutes is adequate time when considering how long a warm-up should be before jumping into your workout!
· By doing pre-workout stretches you are increasing your flexibility, which will lead to better movements and help to prevent injury from occurring.
· Both dynamic (vigorous stretching- let’s get those heart rates up!) and static stretches (slow and controlled movements) should be done. Stick to dynamic stretches before you exercise and static stretches afterwards- overtime you will feel a difference in and outside of the gym.
BONUS** Pairing static stretches while focusing on deep breathing is not only beneficial to your body but can relive psychological stress too (hello, relax time).
Although it may feel like too long of a task to do both before beginning exercising, it’s important to take the time to do so- your muscles will thank you!