Self-Myofascial Release: Foam Rolling 101
Imagine a day where you have absolutely no pain, no tension, no stiffness, and no knots. Sounds incredible, right? Getting to that point is possible, you just have to work at it. How you ask? With foam rolling!
If you’ve never spent some TLC with the foam roller, you are in for a treat! Who knew that one small piece of foam could hurt so good?
Foam rollers have been used widely in rehabilitation clinics for corrective exercise and as a tool to increase core stability, balance, proprioception and soft-tissue mobility. Now, they are popping up anywhere from yoga studios, to fitness centers, and athletic training centers as a means to self myofascial release.
Fascia is the connective tissue between the skin and muscles and provides the shape, support, and protection to the body. Often times this connective tissue can become tight due to exercise, inactivity, surgery, repetitive stress and disease, and as a result, it can limit muscle mobility, cause pain and stiffness, and also put your body as risk for injury.
The foam rollers are a means to releasing the trigger points in the body and releasing that tight fascia, increasing blood flow circulation, and also reintroducing mobility to the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the body. They can be used anywhere on the body and with just a few hints to remember, you’ll be on your way to a loose, limber body! When foam rolling, you want to spend at least 1-2 minutes on each side of the body on the necessary areas. When you find a spot that could put you in tears, hold it on that spot as long as you can and focus on your breathing and relaxing through that muscle. Anytime you can spend some time with the foam roller is great; however, similar to stretching, the greatest benefits are experienced when you can repeat it multiple times a day.