Rolling Theory

Myofascial release is a technique in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.  

                                                                  Illustration of the structure of a skeletal muscle

 The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue-adhesions and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.


Practical Application

If the body is feeling tight and restricted in movement then more than likely there will be some tightness through the fascia. If the fascia is not released then stretching and stretching will become an exercise in boredom rather than flexibility.

First we must release the fascia before stretching for flexibility gains, These exercises can be performed separately, or combined into a 10-minute pre- or postworkout routine. Since it’s best to perform roller exercises once your muscles are warm, you’ll need to do a quick five-minute warm-up if you opt to do them right before a weight-training session.

For each exercise, slowly roll back and forth as described for roughly 60 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. As you roll, take deep, slow breaths to help your muscles relax. Always avoid rolling onto your joints – the roller should stay positioned under your muscles at all times – and if you hit a particularly tight or tender spot, stop rolling and apply direct pressure for 30 seconds, or until the pain abates.


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