The traditional foam roller first appeared in the late 80’s and completely changed the way we deal with muscle tightness and improved circulation. Nowadays, manufacturers have combined vibration technology to this piece of equipment.

Many celebrities, from the likes of Mila Kunis and Khloe Kardashian to sports stars like Tom Brady, have sworn by the effectiveness of this new piece of technology. Would it work the same for a yogi?

Myofascial Release

Vibrating foam rollers are basically supercharged versions of your traditional foam roller which you can check out here.  Having tight muscles, especially hamstrings, is a common cause for yoga injuries.

With proper foam roller stretching, you’re applying traction to your fascia and applying gentle pressure to the muscle tissue at the same time. The fascia is a layer of connective tissue underneath your skin that “wraps” your muscles and separates it from other organs. This fascia often becomes less flexible after inactivity and when your muscles become tight.

You might be wondering, if the traditional foam roller works, why would I need the more expensive vibrating one?

Ian Sharman, an ultrarunner and endurance coach claims that it adds power to the myofascial release. “It’s like a jackhammer breaking up the asphalt,” he said in an interview. If you constantly face tight muscles and your traditional foam roller doesn’t seem to do it, vibrating foam rollers are worth a try!

Improving Blood Circulation

Whether you’re training for football or practicing yoga at home, it’s important that your muscles are warmed up. Warming up mentally prepares you for your yoga routine as well as improving blood flow to your muscles and primes your nerve-muscle pathways for exercise.

How does the vibrating foam roller fit into the equation?

Lee Brown, a sports scientist from California State University finds great benefits in using a vibrating foam roller before an exercise, as he says, “the vibrations signal the muscles to contract, allowing blood flow into the muscle, and results in a warmer muscle.”

Unconvinced, still?

According to a study in the European Journal of Sport Science, acute or short-term vibration exercise can enhance flexibility and range of motion (Cochrane, 2013). The researcher also notes that vibration exercises are safe and produces no adverse side effects for injury or harm.

The Verdict

Muscle tightness and soreness is common among yoga practitioners, and traditional foam rollers have worked well for many. But, if you want to take your foam rolling to another level, then investing in a vibrating foam roller is a great choice for yoga!

References
Cochrane, D. (2013). The sports performance application of vibration exercise for warm-up, flexibility and sprint speed. European Journal of Sport Science, 13(3), pp.256-271.

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