After an intense bout of exercise, foam rolling is thought to alleviate muscle fatigue and soreness (ie, delayed onset muscle soreness [DOMS]) and improve muscular performance. Potentially, foam rolling may be an effective therapeutic modality to reduce DOMS while enhancing the recovery of muscular performance.
The research suggests that both foam rolling and the roller massage may offer short‐term benefits for increasing sit and reach scores and joint ROM at the hip, knee, and ankle without affecting muscle performance.
These finding suggest that Self Myofascial Release(SMR) using a foam roll for thirty seconds to one minute (2 to 5 sessions) or roller massager for five seconds to two minutes (2 to 5 sessions) may be beneficial for enhancing joint flexibility as a pre‐exercise warmup and cool down due to its short‐term benefits. Also, that SMR may have better effects when combined with static stretching after exercise. It has been postulated that ROM changes may be due to the altered viscoelastic and thixotropic property (gel‐like) of the fascia, increases in intramuscular temperate and blood flow due to friction of the foam roll, alterations in muscle‐spindle length or stretch perception, and the foam roller mechanically breaking down scar tissue and remobilizing fascia back to a gel‐like state. The most important findings of these studies were that foam rolling was beneficial in attenuating muscle soreness while improving vertical jump height, muscle activation, and passive and dynamic ROM in comparison to CON.
WHAT PART DOES MYOFASCIAL RELEASE PLAY IN THE OVERACTIVE VERSUS UNDERACTIVE MUSCLES: WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Foam rolling – or self-myofascial release, as it’s also known – is like getting a deep tissue massage. A foam roller can also be used to prepare your body before a training session and may also assist in rehabbing muscle tissue.
The Benefits Of Using A Foam Roller
Applying pressure to trigger points, or knots, in your muscles boosts blood flow, helps them recover their elasticity quickly and sets you up to go again. Just two minutes of self-myofascial release increases your muscles’ range of motion by 10%, according to a study published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research. In addition, while giving yourself a massage might sound immeasurably less fun than lying down and letting a pro do it, the self-control offered by foam rolling allows you to control your recovery by applying the pressure to the precise locations that hurt the most.
How To Use A Foam Roller
Foam rollers are an excellent tool for anyone who works out and it’s magic relies on the simplicity of using one. For example, if you were doing your quads you would lay the roller on the floor and gently place one leg over the roller, using your bodyweight to apply moderate pressure. Move slowly – an inch a second or slower – forwards and backwards on the roller. Usually spots that feel sore or painful may indicate that knots are present thus it’s suggested to hold the foam roller there for a few seconds and gently increase the pressure over 10-20 seconds. From there continue to move slowly up and down the roller and then repeat the process with the other leg. You can repeat this technique on all muscle groups.
Here is a quick way to target some common muscles/muscle groups using a foam roller/lacrosse ball.
TFL (Tensor Fascia Latae)
Place the ball half an inch below the hip bone and rolldown 2-3 inches. Do not roll the IT band.
Place your foam roller on the ground, lie down on one side, with your foam roller underneath your armpit, and perpendicular to your body. Extend the arm to an overhead position. Tighten your core and start to roll slowly, down from your armpit and then roll back up.
Place the foam roller just below the buttocks and slowly foam roll the proximal hamstrings all the way down to the posterior aspect of the knee join.
Foam Rolling and Myofascial Release
To start, place the foam roll/ball on the ground and lie face down on top of it with the ball starting right at the side and top of your chest beside your shoulder joint and below your collarbone slowly move the object towards the midline of the body and then back towards the arms.
Position the foam roller at the upper border of the shoulder blades and slowly roll yourself down towards the inferior angle of the shoulder blade, then slowly roll back up.
Peroneals (target: left leg)
Lie on your side and cross the legs, toes facing out in front, start rolling below the head of the fibula and move all the way down to the lateral malleolus.Type your paragraph here.
Lie face down on the floor, ensure toes and knees face the same direction, start foam rolling at the junction of the hip and femur bone and slowly roll the inside of the groin all the way down to the knee level.
Pearcey, G. E., Bradbury-Squires, D. J., Kawamoto, J. E., Drinkwater, E. J., Behm, D. G., & Button, D. C. (2015). Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of athletic training, 50(1), 5-13.
MacDonald, G. Z. (2013). Foam rolling as a recovery tool following an intense bout of physical activity (Doctoral dissertation, Memorial University of Newfoundland).
Cheatham, S. W., Kolber, M. J., Cain, M., & Lee, M. (2015). The effects of self‐myofascial release using a foam roll or roller massager on joint range of motion, muscle recovery, and performance: a systematic review. International journal of sports physical therapy, 10(6), 827.
Place the foam roller an inch above the knee cap and slowly roll up to the upper part of the thigh, once you find a sensitive or tight spot hold the foam roller and then slowly move it back down towards the knee.
Start with legs crossed, one on top of the other, elevate the hips off the ground and start rolling at the proximal third of the lower leg and slowly move up the leg. Start moving back down once you reach 2 inches shy of the posterior aspect of the knee.