Your Easy Start With Foam Rolling
Self-myofascial release (SMR, also called foam rolling) is a fancy term for self-massage. “Fascia” is connective tissue that stabilizes your muscles. By massaging it, you increase your muscles’ range of motion, boost blood circulation, break down tightness or knots in your muscles and bolster muscle tissue integrity. (FoamRollingEffect)
Self-myofascial release (SMR, also called foam rolling) is a fancy term for self-massage. #audaciousagingnycClick to tweet
Trigger Points vs Tight Muscles
Briefly speaking, a trigger point is pain that radiates beyond the muscle when you apply pressure to it.
In contrast, the pain you get while stretching is uncomfortable, but not unbearable.
In both cases, when you are done, the discomfort is lessened.
Why Am I Doing Something That Hurts?
When you only stretch, you don’t always release muscle tightness. As an illustration, imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it. Significanly, when you stretch the unknotted portion, it lengthens, but the knot doesn’t disappear. In fact, you still have to untie the knot.
In contrast, foam rolling breaks the muscle knot down, so normal blood flow returns.
To put it another way, foam rolling — combined with old-school static stretching, increases the range of motion in your hip. As a result, your flexibility increases.
2 Times to Foam Roll
- To begin with, foam roll before a workout to knock out stress hormone levels (cortisol). In essence, foam rolling improves circulation and pain tolerance.
- Later, foam roll after a workout rolling to speed up the start of soreness from the exertion.
3 Steps to Foam Rolling
In actuality, the term “foam rolling” is misleading. Generally speaking, what you are doing is a series of pauses to let each trigger point relax into the roller.
- First, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight.
- Then, roll slowly along the area; no more than one inch at a time.
- Specifically, when you find an area that is tight or painful, pause and hold on that area for 30-60 seconds.
As a result, the muscle releases, and the discomfort or pain will lessen. (HowFoamRoll)
In the final analysis, the goal is to restore your muscles. To put it another way, foam rolling is not a pain tolerance test. In fact, rolling at 50%, 70%, and 90% of your pain threshold shows similar results. (Results)
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My name is Jacqueline Gikow. I am a certified instructor in foam rolling techniques. Health and wellness aren’t about being better than someone else… Instead, they are about being better than you used to be. Consequently, every week I publish an article about health (getting active and fit), or wellness (enriching your life).
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