Column: Why to add a foam roller to your gym bag


Commentary by Mike Robertson

If you were to walk into a gym 10 years ago with a foam roller, most people would be wondering what it was for. It might have looked like a foreign object back then, but today, people who add it to their daily routine can’t imagine a day without it. And that’s because, when it comes to relieving joint and muscle pain, foam rollers work wonders.

But pain relief isn’t the only reason that they’re flying off the shelves. In fact, there are countless other benefits that make the foam roller a worthy addition to any gym bag.

Injury prevention

There’s nothing worse than being laid up after suffering a sports-related injury. Whether it’s a torn ACL, or something less sever, the recovery time involved can sometimes put you behind the competition. But, by warming up with a foam roller before and after every workout, you can prevent injuries and ensure that they don’t worsen over time.

Faster recovery

If you’re faced with any downtime on behalf of an injury, using the foam roller to rehab these tender areas can help you heal up and get back in the game faster. Just remember to roll very slowly over the spots that hurt to prevent the pain from worsening. Also, rolling on the area a few inches above and below where it hurts is highly recommended.

Stress reduction

If pain relief and injury prevention wasn’t enough, foam rolling is also a great stress reliever. So, if you’re bumped or bruised, or are simply having a rough go of it, hop on a foam roller. It will not only cure what ails you, it will also give you the relief you need to make it through a busy day.

Mike Robertson, Fishers resident and co-owner of Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training (IFAST), is the head strength coach for the Indy Eleven professional soccer team. Visit to learn more about Mike and IFAST.