The foam-rolling craze has been a blessing for some, bestowing greater range of motion and less pain on desk-bound athletes who try to get into a deeper squat or a more vertical overhead pressing position.
While some powerlifters advise against overusing a foam roller before a big lift (wisely reasoning that a joint needs to be strong and tight rather than loose and mobile when moving a huge weight) aesthetic-based gym-goers can still benefit from a pre-workout roll without losing strength. Scientists at Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada found that when trained men subjected their quads to two 60-second bouts on a foam roller, they improved the range of motion in their hips by about 10 percent. What’s more, the self-massage had no effect on the amount of force they could generate afterward. Unless you’re going for an extreme one-rep max, a few minutes on a foam roller can help you get into more-advantageous positions to be able to move more weight and help stave off injury. Just don’t be that guy who lightly lolls around on the roller while he texts. We hate that guy.