The objective of a foam roller or any of the objects pictured above is fairly simple.
To increase the circulation of blood flow to soft tissue, releasing adhesion or tightness in restricting areas and to improve your ability to work through a full range of motion.
The term Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is used to describe this process, here’s a brief overview of what it means.
Fascia, every structure in the body is covered in a layer of fascia. It’s almost akin to oil in your car’s engine, it allows everything to run smoothly and slide without friction. Through the overstress of our muscles, whether overuse or trauma, our layers of fascia can get tears in them. When these tears don’t heal properly, the various layers of fascia in your body can adhere together in spots (called adhesion’s), which will cause pain and discomfort. These adhesion’s keep your muscles from working the way they’re supposed to, which keeps your body from living up to its potential for strong and natural movement.
This is where foam rolling and other similar exercises come into play. When we put pressure on these adhesion’s, they are released, and we can get stuck into our run knowing our joints and soft tissue have been serviced for the main race!
There is no set reps or time period for SMR work, if an area is tight and sore work it for longer! If you are not getting a deep enough massage consider using a harder object. It shouldn’t be overcomplicated. Generally somewhere between 5-15mins pre and post your run should be a great enough period of time to work on reducing tension and increasing mobility.
A relatively easy albeit often painful exercise, adding this to your training will provide immediate benefits.
At Footpro, our products and services are geared to provide comfort and in many cases to solve problems. We often include foam rolling as part of our advice and see great results when rolling is implemented on a regular basis. We sell foam rollers at Footpro and our team are experienced with rolling techniques and can advise you on how to roll effectively.