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Self-Myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. The method can be performed using a foam roller by applying pressure to specific muscles. Foam Rolling has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for sports persons of all levels.
Trigger Points: Are ‘knots’ or tight bands in the muscle, and are usually very tender when pressed. They may refer to pain both in the local area and/or to other areas of the body.
Fascia: Soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and 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 including training, the overuse of our muscles, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia can tear and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of movement.
This is where foam rolling comes into play. When we put pressure on these adhesions, they are released, so we can get back to optimal physical performance. By using a Grid Foam Roller which has a unique design, provides a more targeted trigger point self-massage. It targets specific points, so you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are flexible and relieved of muscle knots, tightness and soreness.
We can’t all afford a personal masseuse or athletic trainer to regularly rub out the kinks, soreness, and tight spots in our muscles. But there is a way to massage oneself, with the benefit of being able to control exactly where and how much pressure to apply.
Benefits of Foam Rolling
- Releases knots and tightness in your muscles.
- Aids in preventing injuries.
- Reduces soreness from workouts.
- Increases flexibility and blood flow, which helps for faster recovery from workouts.
NOTE: Foam rolling should be done before static or dynamic stretching activities, improving the tissue’s ability to lengthen during stretching activities.
Watch this excellent video with Mike McGurn (Irish Rugby Strength & Conditioning coach 2002-2008).
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