Myofascial Release; You might have heard this term if you have been around a gym, done any athletic activity, or talked to anyone who does. It is taking over the rehabilitation and training world as the most effective way to reduce muscle fatigue, strain, and pain. So first lets break down the word:
FASCIA= richest sensory organ and the network of connective tissue that transmits forces globally through your body
RELEASE= overall goal to increase range of motion, decrease muscle soreness/tightness, and increase length/tension relationship of your muscle (stretch)
The real key to the effectiveness of foam rolling for MYOFASCIAL release is when and how you use it:
The “Search and Destroy” method-
Before you work out a specific muscle group roll up and down the foam roller finding a “Hot” spot that is specifically tender or especially tight. Locate that area and oscillate the “hot” spot for a minimum of 10 seconds. Once you are done with one specific area roll up and down the surrounding muscle groups to facilitate blood flow and circulation. You can repeat this process for numerous “hot” spots you find.
The “this might hurt a little” method-
After you finish working out a specific muscle group (legs after running, shoulders after swimming) roll up and down those specific tissue/muscle groups. Locate any “hot” spots that are specifically tender or especially tight. Once you have located that “hot” spot, place pressure (using your body weight or manipulating your limbs to place extra pressure on that area) and hold for a minimum of 30 seconds. Once you are done with a specific area, roll up and down the surrounding tissues to facilitate blood flow and circulation. You can repeat this for other “hot” spots (even areas that are tender or tight from previous workouts)
The “find it, pin it, move it” method-
The best use of your foam roller for day to day mobility is to roll up and down your desired muscle group until you find a “hot” spot that is tight or tender and apply slightly more pressure. Once pressure is applied, move that particular muscle group through its range of motion (this is also a great time to use the more specific LAX ball)--HOW TO: The LAX ball
It is recommended that you use the foam roller daily whether you are working out a specific muscle group or for general maintenance to:
The foam roller can enhance your performance, improve function, and be a great tool to self treat in between appointments with a chiropractor, trainer, or physical therapist.