Benefits of foam rolling for self-myofascial relief
Self-myofascial relief is a self-massage technique that you can apply to release muscle tightness or trigger points. It can be performed with various tools, the foam roller being one of the most popular. Using a foam roller can help to increase the blood flow and thus decrease recovery time and increased range of motion, especially in muscles that are typically tight.
When and how to use a foam roller?
As foam rolling reduces tightness, increases range of motion and blood flow to the working muscles, it can be used as part of the warm up, ideally before stretching or cardio. It can be also used during the cool down part of the workout in order to speed up recovery time. Ideally foam rolling is used during both parts of the workout, but if time is limited it should be at least included in the warm up to reduce the risk of injury or altered movement patterns due to tight (i.e. inhibited) muscles. As for technique it is important to execute all movements slowly spending between 30 – 90 seconds on each muscles to allow it to respond. If a tight spot is found, try to stay on it until it relaxes. The intensity can be altered by using your body weight pressing harder or softer into the foam roller. Try these 3 foam rolling exercises as part of your next workout and contact your provider for more foam rolling exercises.
1. SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELIEF CALVES Position Vyper on your calf muscle and lift hips off the floor. Slowly move roller throughout calve muscle as tolerated, for a duration of 1 – 2 minutes. If a painful area is found, stop rolling and REST on the area for 10 sec as tolerated, then continue.
2. SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELIEF QUADRICEPS Position Vyper on thighs as you pull your body forward with arms, slowly moving roller throughout thighs as tolerated, for a duration of 1 – 2 minutes. If a painful area is found, stop rolling and REST on the area for 10 sec as tolerated, then continue.
3. SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELIEF MID BACK Begin with the Vyper positioned in the middle of the back. Cross the arms to open up the shoulder blade region and lift hips off the floor. Slowly massage the upper back, rolling up and down as tolerated, for a duration of 1 – 2 minutes. If a painful area is found, stop rolling and REST on the area for 10 sec as tolerated, then continue.