Self Myofascial Release Techniques
By Coach Travis Grosjean, NASM certified Personal Trainer
What is foam rolling and how does it work?
Foam Rolling, the art of rolling your body along a large cylindrical foam, is a technique used to relax and restore muscles, increase circulation and improve range of motion and stability, which can result in more muscle, greater strength, improved athletic performance and decreased muscle soreness.
Foam rolling, or self-myofacial release, works like a deep sports massage, softening and lengthening the fascia and breaking down adhesions. The technique uses gentle, sustained pressure on soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia, the soft connective tissue just under the skin that wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together creating an adhesion. Your body will feel the limitations caused by the adhesion, in restricted muscle movement, pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.
Some of my clients grumble at the foam roll because it can be uncomfortable, and at introduction may make your muscles feel tender and bruised. But, the rewards are well worth the few moments of discomfort. Your body will feel alive with increased circulation, your muscles will feel looser, longer and leaner as your flexibility increases, your performance will no doubt improve and that soreness after a workout will efficiently diminish.
This powerful, little, roll costs less than one good massage, typically under $40 bucks. Easily one of the most affordable pieces of essential gym equipment. And it is portable enough to tuck away in a closet or under a bed.
Who can benefit from foam rolling?
Who needs foam rolling? Everyone can positively benefit from foam rolling (if you have any heart/vascular illness or a chronic pain condition check with your doctor first.) As we age, flexibility, stability and mobility, are increasingly important. The foam roll maintains all of that.
Longer drive, more aces, better PR, stronger workouts. As an athlete, no matter the sport, foam rolling will improve your performance, aid in recovery and prevent injury. The increased flexibility allows your muscle to obtain their full range of motion which translates into greater power, faster reaction, and increased accuracy. Plus, you’ll find that your body can safely train longer and harder; and, with the lack of severe soreness your mind will be up for the next days workout.
Foam rolling is impressive for rehabilitation, correction, prevention and management of chronic problems. I have clients, who had Plantar Fasciitis, Sciatica and Bursitis, some even doctors and nurses themselves. I got them foam rolling and safely, quickly (in some instances more than 2 times faster than expected) the pain was eliminated and range of motion returned, improving their workouts and life. Most misalignment in the neck, back, hips, knees, and ankles, caused by muscle tightness can be corrected through foam rolling. Just as it corrects problems, it prevents them. By foam rolling and releasing fascia, you will have less opportunity for chronic pain and soreness, torn muscles and connective tissue. For instance, many runners end up with knee and foot problems, sometimes so unbearable the passion is retired. Most often the problems are caused by tight muscles. Foam rolling the legs releases that tightness and the sport continues.
How do I use the foam roll?
To learn how to use the foam roll and powerful exercises that will improve your health, contact Coach Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org