Why You Need to Stretch & Why Foam Rollers Are Awesome

6 reasons why you need to stretch

and why foam rollers are awesome.

Ever worked out really hard, went home, and then woke up the next day feeling like a truck ran over you? The soreness and pain we feel after a workout is known as DOMS, or delayed-onset muscle soreness. This soreness typically hurts the most at 48 to 72 hours after a workout, because your muscles are literally working to repair the muscles you ripped up during that latest INSANITY workout, CARDIO HIIT workout, or Les Mills BodyPump, or Indoor Cycling class you took at the Y. Muscles and joints become sore because lactic acids build up, and your blood is flowing to your tired muscles working to recover and regrow (helping you become stronger). The soreness can be so painful that walking around or going up the stairs can seem like an impossible feat.

But to fix issues with muscle pain, post-workout soreness, posture, stress, flexibility, and more, stretching and using foam rollers is a habit to get into that your body will thank you for!

Here are 6 reasons why stretching is truly good for you, fitness geek or not. Even if you don't work out regularly, stretching has some great benefits!



One of the most obvious reasons is that stretching helps you to improve flexibility and your range of motion. The more you stretch, the more your muscles get used to operating at an increased length. Runners stretch their leg muscles to not only work out kinks but stretching helps runners achieve longer strides, and better times, and helps them win the race in the long run. Stretch your arm muscles more, and reaching for that cup on the 2nd shelf will be a lot easier.



Stretching is an easy and free way to correct your posture. Or, invest in an inexpensive foam roller to help ease out kinks in the shoulders and back to improve posture. For office workers, avoid becoming the next bell ringer of Notre Dame by stretching and lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position (because of so much time at our computers, many of us have tight chest muscles which pull the shoulders and head forward, leaving us with a hunched shoulder look!).



Stretching and foam rolling help increase flexibility and also improves blood flow and circulation. When you use the foam roller to apply force to your muscles and tissues, fresh blood is able to flow out and carry nutrients, oxygen, and glycogen to your tired muscles to aid in recovery.



As stretching and foam rolling helps increase healthy blood flow and production to fix up fatigued muscles, your ability to recover after a workout increases. Not only can you recover your muscles faster (bye-bye post-workout soreness!) but foam rolling also helps to warm up muscles before a workout. Faster recovery time means that you can get in more workouts, and train more often to yield even faster results.



When you are moving at your optimal range of motion, with great balance and improved strength, you’ll inevitably be less prone to getting hurt. You’ll be less likely to lose balance, trip up, or experience weakness in your muscles or joints. When you stretch and foam roll, your muscles can relax, whereas if your muscles are tight and tense, opposing muscles can become weakened and cause wear and tear on joints within the body. Stretching helps ensure that muscles have an equal amount of pull, and provides joints the flexibility to move in all directions and cause less stress on your body.



With the affordable foam roller (typically less than $20) you can enjoy the benefits of a massage therapist without paying one. With a foam roller, you can achieve “self-myofascial release” also known as the “poor man’s massage.” Therapists use myofascial release by a hands-on technique for applying long duration, dragging force on soft tissue in the body to release tissue mobility and knots. You can achieve this effect on your own with a foam roller by using your own body weight to slowly roll out your tissue issues.



March 25
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Berkeley Heights YMCA 


Questions? Contact:


Nerissa Aschoff

Group Exercise Director & Barre Instructor

(908) 273-3330






In 1886, we were founded as the Young Men's Christian Association, but today, we are The Y. An association that values and is made stronger by, its diverse people. We stand for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility — For a better us. We are committed to creating equal opportunity for all regardless of gender, age, disability, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive culture in which our four core values — responsibility, honesty, caring, and respect — are integral to everyday operations.

Each year, as one of the areas’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations, the Summit Area YMCA serves more than 15,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the New Jersey communities of Berkeley Heights, Gillette, Millburn, New Providence, Short Hills, Springfield, Stirling, and Summit. Our history is rooted in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those in need.