For those of us who utilize Self Myofascial release on a daily basis, we know how important it is in maintaining muscle health while also being absolutely excruciating! Self Myofascial Release is a very important stretching technique that focuses on the neural system and fascial system in the body. By applying gentle force to an adhesion or “knot”, the elastic muscle fibers are altered from a bundled position into a straighter alignment with the direction of the muscle or fascia. This process works through autogenic inhibition, decreasing muscle spindle excitation and releasing the hyper tonicity of the underlying musculature. Whew, that took a lot to describe and I’m sure made absolutely no sense! In lamens terms the foam roller puts pressure on the adhesion in a muscle and “resets” the mechanisms of the soft tissue to their original form.
If you have never had the opportunity to perform SMR with a foam roller I need to warn you of the discomfort involved with this stretching technique! Be ready for pain in certain areas but be assured that by utilizing this technique many people can see a real difference and improvement in flexibility and muscle imbalances that are causing discomfort and improper alignment in your body. This technique is one that is spreading across the country rapidly while more and more personal trainers and gym goers alike experience the benefits involved with this continuum. In terms of sheer bang for your buck, a $10 foam roller can have an extreme effect on improving your muscle structures while most people can begin to feel results within a week to 10 days!
With the nature of our current lifestyles the need for SMR is increasing rapidly. Our lives are much more sedentary than they were 50 years ago and many Americans are stuck behind a desk for 40-60 hours a week and struggle from the muscle imbalances our sedentary lifestyles are contributing to. By incorporating 5-10 minutes a day of SMR into your daily lives, we can begin to see advances in posture and the relationships between our muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Step up today and take our challenge to purchase a foam roller and begin to play with the different positions while you watch television in the evening and wind down from a long day or to cool down at the end of an intense training session! The old adage “No Pain, No Gain” must have been referring to SMR!