This study found that using a foam roller can increase nitric oxide levels in the blood. This can improve blood flow and enhance recovery. Try rolling sore muscle groups for at least 15-seconds for best results. Objects like baseballs and lacrosse balls can also be used for more direct pressure on tricky spots like the upper back and shoulders.
Source: Okamoto, T., Masuhara, M., & Ikuta, K. (2014). Acute effects of self-myofascial release using a foam roller on arterial function. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(1), 69-73.
From being a mediocre athlete, to professional powerlifter and strength coach, and now to researcher and writer, Charlie combines education and experience in the effort to help Bridge the Gap Between Science and Application. Charlie performs double duty by being the Content Manager for The Muscle PhD as well as the Director of Human Performance at the Applied Science and Performance Institute in Tampa, FL. To appease the nerds, Charlie is a PhD candidate in Human Performance with a master’s degree in Kinesiology and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. For more alphabet soup, Charlie is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), an ACSM-certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP), and a USA Weightlifting-certified performance coach (USAW).