Whether you are an active gym goer or office worker, foam rolling is an amazing form of self-massage with many myofascial benefits.
But what is Myofascia?
“Myo” meaning muscles and “fascia” meaning the connective web-like tissue that surrounds and penetrates all our muscles – it also coats every bone and covers every organ and envelopes every nerve in the body! Fascia is what keeps everything separate yet interconnected at the same time.
By using a foam roller, you can stretch, massage and even rehydrate the underlying muscles and fascia. Over time this may reduce fascial adhesions (dense areas of fascia or scar tissue that may be restricting movement) and retention the fascia and muscle into more optimal length and position.
Some further benefits you may experience with foam rolling:
- Improved range of motion (ROM) – foam rolling may ease tissue tension and muscle tightness to increase joint ROM. Foam roll any restricted area on your own body and test it for yourself, you might be surprised with the results!
- Improved circulation – myofascial release may help improve circulation by breaking up tight areas or fascial adhesions where blood flow has become restricted.
- Relief from stress and fatigue –foam rolling may create a deep sense of relaxation. Try the beginner foam rolling routine below before bed with no interruptions and notice how you feel at the end of the routine.
- Faster recovery time – we now know the benefits of foam rolling before exercise but doing it after may also help reduce muscle soreness and the new collagen from forming fascial adhesions between the layers. Again, the beginner routine below will be well suited to this as well.
- Free massage for the rest of your life! It’s an inexpensive option and gives you the benefit of taking your health & wellbeing into your own hands.
Basic Foam rolling routine
- Lateral borders of IT band – rather than rolling directly on your IT band you will find more benefit in rolling the lateral borders of the IT band.
- Gluteal muscles
- Adductors (inner thighs)
- Upper back
Tips for success
- Perform slow rolling movements to relax, release or rehydrate your muscle and fascial tissues
- Roll for the amount of time your body requires
- Roll daily or every second day, just avoid any areas that feel bruised
- Avoid directly rolling on your lower back.
- Avoid any areas that cause numbness, pins and needles or have a pulse.
If you have any injuries or medical conditions however, please only use as directed by your health care practitioner as the roller may not be suitable for use for the injury or condition that you may have.