Foam Rolling/Self Myofascial Release

Foam Rolling/Self Myofascial Release

Foam Rolling…If you have not heard about it, now you have!

So I don’t know about you but it has been a goal of mine to foam roll more this year.  I am making it a PRIORITY to at least foam roll 5- 10 minutes a day, depending on my training.  Before we start on this subject, I want you to watch this video first.  It will help you understand a little bit more but PLEASE NOTE:  If you are easily disturbed by looking at real muscle from the human body, you may want to skip. 

Here it is: The “Fuzz” Speech

 

Now ask yourself…”Do I have any Fuzz?” Well of course you do and now you can take action.  Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massages, without the big price tag. This is why you have to get on board! We only get one body and it is true, people are caring for their houses and cars more than their own incredible body.  Think about 1 month-6 month-2 years from now doing foam rolling…all the released toxins, build-ups, inflammation, and “fuzz” reduced or non existing.

The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesion’s and scar tissue.  By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.  This can lead to:

  • Improved Range of Motion
  • Improved Flexibility
  • Increased Blood flow, so very important
  • Reduced Body Fat in troubled areas, (yes this is the only time spot redcution can be applied!)

How It Works

The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin.  It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body.  Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system.  For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement.  It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.

Myofascial release is a body work technique in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia.  This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.  Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome and shin splints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion.

Foam rollers are inexpensive and with a bit of experimentation you can target just about any muscle group.

Treat it as a “project” for your body. Slowly but steady getting underneath all the layers of “Fuzz”! Just remember to really start off slow and easy.  If you find a knot or spot where you really feel it and your body is talking to you, just breathe and don’t try to over do it, stop there for now.  I know it is tempting to want to foam roll your whole body for hours after watching the video, but take it in very small baby steps and soon it will get easier and more enjoyable.

THE BEST TIMES TO FOAM ROLL:

  • ANYTIME! Better than nothing that is for sure.
  • Ideally before a massage so you have done the first layer now let them really get in there. 😉
  • Before exercise or yoga is best so then you are more flexible, less tense, and have a increased range of motion for your workouts.
  • Before a chiropractic adjustment for the same reason, to be less tense and open.

A Disclaimer and Cautions to know:

Self Myofascial release can still be treated as a form of exercise so certain precautions need to be taken.  If you have any of the following conditions, check with your doctor first.

  • Connective tissue disorders such as Fibromyalgia, Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Skin disturbances such as pressure sores, bruises, or eczema
  • Visual or balance disorders
  • Significant cardiac or pulmonary conditions
  • Pregnancy

See you on your next workout and until then, get to that Foam Roller!

Love Monica Nelson

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a Registered Dietitian. While my advice relies on my own personal experience and research, what has been successful for myself and others may be not best for you. You should always consult your doctor when making changes to your diet. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me at monica@monicanelsonfitness.com.

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