Have you seen people using foam cylinders to roll on muscles? Do you wonder if you should be doing that too?
This practice is commonly referred to as foam rolling or self-myofascial release. It used to decrease muscle “knots”.
Where Do “Knots” Come From?
As the National Academy of Sports Medicine (1) describes it, inflammation activates pain receptors; this leads to heightened activity in particular areas of the muscle. These areas of the muscle become less elastic so that they do not stretch. Holding pressure on these areas can decrease this tension, which can then be followed with stretching techniques.Additionally, a muscle that does not have optimal length does not have optimal strength. Releasing these “knots,” can be beneficial prior to your strength training.
If you feel muscle tension, want to improve your posture, want to get more out of your strength training, or are involved in sports or activities that require range of motion, you may want to consider trying this technique as part of your regular practice. If you are new to this technique, try holding about 30 seconds or until the spot is 20-30% less tender. If you are experienced, try 90
seconds or until the spot is about 70% less tender.
Here are a few of my favorite techniques. Stay tuned, as we will share more in weeks to come! have a question or want to share ideas? Leave us a reply!
Please be sure to consult with a medical professional prior to trying this if you have any possible contraindications including but not limited to: osteoporosis, active infections, bursitis, bleeding disorders, eczema/skin conditions, healing fractures, poor sensation or circulation, organ failure, blood clot, or are taking anticoagulants.
(1) Clark, MA, Lucett, SC. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training. Wolters Kluwer Health: Philadelphia. 2011.