If you’ve ever seen your fellow gym buffs walking around with one of those ridiculous looking foam rollers and wondered what all the fuss was about you’re not alone. While they may look silly —or more like some sort of new-age torture device— these handy little fitness tools are great for improving circulation and relieving sore muscles. Whether you’ve been dealing with painful muscles keeping you awake or simply need to relieve a little tension, the foam rolling benefits to your overall health are seemingly endless.

5 Amazing Foam Rolling Benefits

1) Your Own Personal Masseuse

foam roller benefits bodyOnce you get the hang of it, using a foam roller after a hard workout can feel like you’ve just gotten a personal massage. Except with this massage, there’s no chance for awkward oil mishaps with strangers! After just 10 minutes of using this awesome fitness tool, you can get the same benefits of a massage to help care for your sore, tired muscles.

2) You’ll Feel Less Pain

Foam rolling is best done about an hour or two after a workout, while your muscles are still sore but not inflamed. When you use them regularly you can actually start to break down scar tissue and help your muscles to get rid of any leftover lactic acid as well. In turn, this leaves your muscles more flexible, strong and feeling a lot less painful over time.

3) They’re Affordable

One of the best foam rolling benefits that you’re sure to love is how easy they are on the old wallet. From regular massages to physical therapy and everything in between, sometimes a really good workout can leave you paying for it in more ways than one. Luckily, foam rollers are relatively inexpensive and with regular use, they can help you avoid costly injuries as well.

4) The Perfect Cool Down

Foam rolling can be super relaxing and lets you have a little “me” time post-workout. After sweating your booty off in the gym, you need a little bit of time to come back to center and cool down. When you foam roll you can take the time to find out where your body is hurting, make any adjustments to your next workout and focus your mind on repairing your sore muscles.

5) A Mini Workout

Using a foam roller can give you a fast and effective mini workout too! While the idea of flopping around on a piece of foam like a fish out of the water doesn’t sound super graceful or effective, mobility exercises are great for improving your posture and working out your core. Whether you can’t make it to the gym or you feel like getting in a quick workout during your lunch break, mobility exercises can help you roll your way to a fit body. If you’re looking for a quick abdominal workout, try using your foam roller for awesome results!