Mobility – Part 1 Foam rolling
Foam Rolling is a form of self-myofascial release that involves the application of pressure to specific parts of your body. It can be used as tissue prep or passively after a workout for recovery. The main problem when a muscle is not activating is because of trigger points around the area prohibiting the muscle from firing correctly. If performance enhancement is the end goal, using the foam roller will aid in tissue recovery and restoration of normal tissue function and pain free movement. Something to bear in mind, if you want to go down the no pain no gain route!
How it works?
Compression from the foam roller helps break up adhesions and restore normal neutral tone and healthy blood flow. If your confused to what you are working on, let me help you; it’s muscle, fascia and soft tissue. Foam rolling primarily targets the fascia and the trigger points that form in the facia.
Developing a little deeper into what exactly is fascia. In essence, it is the glue that holds our body together. Made primarily of densely packed collagen and elastin fibres. Fascia is a continuous sheath of tissue designed to create structure. Fascial health is dependent on two key elements, hydration and movement. When these decrease, restrictions and trigger points can occur.
How to apply it.
1) Move Slowly!
If there is a definite trigger point sustain pressure for 15-30secs. This should assist in rehydration and release the knot. Fast Rolling is relatively ineffective and can result in unnecessary muscle tension and bruising. Remember it is a thick fibrous web of tissue. A quick pass over with the roller won’t fix anything.
2) Get specific!
Spend time on areas that need it. Target specific areas that will help you with certain movements. Don’t be afraid to explore new area’s e.g – Lat’s, inner thigh, sole of your foot.
I guarantee you’ll find new tighter spots to work on!
3) Over- Use in One Area!
Constantly working over an injured area can end up creating more inflammation and tension. Instead, foam roll away from the injured area to the connecting tissues and attachment areas.
You can use a foam roller, a lacrosse ball, theracane or even your own hands. If you are unable to make a good contraction when training within a specific muscle group. Don’t add more weight. Strategically release, mobilize and strengthen the muscle. This will play a major part in relieving muscular stress and flushing out toxins that are bound up in that area. Once this area is freed up it increases circulation to create better movement and better muscle recruitment.
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