Q: Should you "roll out" or stretch tight muscles?
Oz Says: Foam rollers are everywhere — and a body's best friend — but sometimes good old stretching is better. Your guide:
Use a foam roller if…
You're stiff or achy. Often you feel creaky because the tissue around muscles, called fascia, develops little knots that keep muscles from sliding over each other well, says David Reavy of React Physical Therapy in Chicago. Foam rolling helps smooth out fascia so you can move more easily.
You've just finished a workout. Most exercises (like biceps curls) shorten your muscles. Stretching helps return them to a healthier resting length, allowing your joints to have a fuller range of motion, says exercise neuroscientist Duane Button, PhD, of Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland.
This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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