Enhance Your Performance By Adding In Foam Rolling #SFTM
Why you should be foam rolling?
Sometimes when I introduce Self Myofacial Release (SMFR) or Foam Rolling to members many stall at this part of their training. Being unfamiliar with the process they may consider it a waste of time and don't take the time to do it themselves for various reasons. common reasons are usually;
• It takes too much time and they want to get their workout done. • It’s a waste of time it doesn’t really do anything. • Or they are completely ignorant towards this area of their training.
The fact is once people take the time to learn what SMFR/ Foam Rolling is and its related benefits they soon realize it's potential and benefits to enhance performance as you are able to recover better and prevent injuries from happening. It’s a simple and easy way to improve your quality of movement, intensity of training and make more saves with fewer injuries.
So let’s begin with a brief explanation of how your muscles and body move. Each muscle has individual muscle fibers that slide over one another when they contract making the muscle shorten. When the muscle relaxes it lengthens. In addition each muscle is covered in a thin membrane called fascia. This fascia is what allows muscle groups to slide over one another helping to make complex movements possible. No muscle or joint acts in complete isolation. When our muscles and fascia work smoothly we can move our bodies through their full range of motion. But every once in a while muscles and fascia get adhesions, knots or trigger points that interfere with the body’s ability to move properly through it’s full range of motion. We’ve all experienced this. For instance when you wake up and feel like you’ve slept on your neck wrong or a painful knot develops that doesn’t allow you to move a joint or muscle normally. Some times you are painfully aware of the trigger point and sometimes they lie hidden until you foam roll or get a massage. Either way they restrict your motion, inhibit the way you move and can increase the risk of injuries if they are not addressed. Trigger points can have many causes: • Injuries or traumas • Poor lifting form • Poor Posture • Repetitive movement patterns
What you need to know is that painful areas in the soft tissue will not go away unless you work on them. You can use massage, Active Release Technique or SMFR/ Foam Rolling to break up the adhesions and help restore normal length and function to your muscles and fascia. A lot of trigger points usually are reoccurring because they’re tied to your movement patterns. Foam rolling is usually the easiest and cheapest way to address and stay ahead of any trigger points that reoccur frequently.
Sometimes it can be painful when your roll out a trigger point. You should use an amount of pressure to roll that is comfortable. Using too much pressure can be counter productive as it can cause you to tense up due to the pain and the goal is to have your muscles relax and be restored to proper length. If you’re too tense when you’re rolling this won’t happen. It’s best to take your time and relax into the roll. Try to coordinate it with your breathing to get the most out of it for your body. As with anything else, the more you do it the more of a feel you get for it, and you’ll find that your trigger points aren’t as numerous or painful.
SMFR/ Foam Rolling can actually enhance your stretching and performance. If your muscles and fascia are free of adhesions that restrict their movement and have been restored to their original length then they are going to have a fuller range of motion for stretching. It’s also why you should roll and warm your body up before you stretch. Trigger points are like knots in your muscles and fascia and when you try to stretch them before rolling it’s like pulling on a knot and making it tighter. It’s far better to untie the knot by rolling, massage and/or Active Release Technique and then stretch rather than to keep pulling the knot tighter.
I use foam rolling a lot with myself and recommend it to all SFTM members to work on their knots wherever or whenever they occur so they can get the most out of their stretching and training programs. There really is no right or wrong time to do SMFR/ Foam Rolling.
As stated above, foam rolling can be an awesome tool to assist you with recovery and injury prevention, which in the long term will boost your performance in the gym as you are able to train at your full potential.
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