Foam rolling the modern day static stretch
Since the dawn of time it has been imbedded in our brain that static stretching is the correct method for recovery of our muscles. Unfortunately as the health and fitness industry has evolved the old method has been replaced by the foam roller which offers the same benefits as a sports massage all without the massive bill at the end of it.
Foam rollers not only stretch your muscles and tendons but also break down soft and scar tissue. The biggest selling point of the foam roller is that you can do all of this by using your own body weight. The foam roller is in the shape of a cylinder which allows you to perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia all whilst increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.
How the Foam Roller works
The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It 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 that include, not enough stretching, injuries, or vigorous workouts the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and consequently ends in restricted muscle movement which is quite uncomfortable and can lead to further pain or injury throughout your body resulting in restricted movement.
Specifically for the common long distance runner myofascia release is known to relieve muscle and joint pain and can be a tool to combat the dreaded ‘shin splints’ as well as improving flexibility and range of motion.
Foam rollers are cost effective and when utilized correctly can just about target all muscle groups. Next time you see one of our highly educated trainers ask them for demonstration on how to get the best out of a foam roller session. To give you a kick start here are some diagrams of the great device in use.
GASTROCNEMIUS MYOFASCIAL RELEASE
LATISSIMUS DORSI MYOFASCIAL RELEASE