The Importance of Foam Rolling
Self-myofascial release, also known as foam rolling, is just a fancy term for self-massage to release tightness and trigger points. This program incorporates foam rolling throughout. Your muscles need to be elastic, healthy, and ready to perform not only during exercise but at any moment. Foam rolling is extremely beneficial as it assists in releasing trigger points to reconstruct proper movement patterns that will help you stay pain-free. Making foam rolling a routine will enhance your performance by decreasing your recovery time in between workouts, improving blood flow, and restoring healthy tissue. Ultimately, it allows proper functioning of muscles and will prevent injury in the future.
To help you understand better, the deep compression of self-myofascial release using a foam roller helps to break up and relax tight muscles, the same muscles that will help you carry out any challenging workout or any of your daily activities that require repetitive movement. If your muscles aren’t taken care of properly then you’ll lack the flexibility to do a proper squat, you’ll develop adhesions that will hinder proper movement, and therefore cause pain. Think of it as tenderizing your muscles so that they are supple and ready to perform.
Tools and Proper Technique
You’ll be applying moderate pressure to a desired muscle or muscle group. You can use a foam roller, theracane, lacrosse ball, or any myofascial release tool, plus your own weight. Rolling shouldn’t be done fast, taking it slow about half inch per second is a great rule. As you roll that specific muscle, if you find areas
that are very painful and tight, you should pause for up to twenty seconds, relaxing as much as possible to allow a release.
Things to Consider
You should be aware to never roll a joint or bone. This applies to lying onto the roller directly on your lower back. I suggest you release those muscles with a lacrosse or tennis ball to avoid open areas of your spine including your neck. The goal is to release and loosen up muscles, if an area is too painful to apply
direct pressure, try softening and rolling the surrounding muscles of that particular area, to gradually come back and loosen up that whole muscle. If you are a beginner to self-myofascial release, you may find yourself sore the next day. Rolling each muscle group for 2 minutes should be a good length of time as you should not push yourself to the point of extreme soreness. Drink plenty of water to help your body flush your systems of toxins released by breaking down trigger points. Get enough sleep and allow 24-48 hrs before focusing on the same area again