For too long foam rollers have been neglected in your workout. Foam rolling makes a great addition to any training regime, as it can increase joint range of motion, improve muscular performance and overall recovery and can be done in as little as 30-60 seconds. Self Myofascial Release Therapy, (SMRT), is a technique used to assist recovery in muscle groups that tend to be sore and overused.
Your body is made up of soft, connective tissue called fascia, which protects and provides support to the muscles it surrounds. Often, your fascia can become tight due to a wide range of lifestyle factors; frequent training, flexibility, posture, movement patterns and even stress. Our bodies learn to compensate for this stress, but are not allowed enough time for recovery. As a result, we are left with tight, in-elastic muscles. SMRT is a form of self massage to release this muscle tightness or trigger points throughout your body.
SMRT is in fact a type of deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage helps to break up the tightness around the muscles and encourage blood flow back to the area, which helps heal the muscles. One of the greatest benefits of SMRT is that it’s performed by you, for you! Foam rolling gives you the ability to control all aspects of the “massage”. Regular foam rolling can help bring the muscles back to normal function, improve flexibility, decrease pain and increase strength.
A 3-step guide to foam rolling:
- Apply light to moderate pressure on the muscle group you specifically want to target, using your body-weight to manipulate the amount of pressure you apply.
- Roll slowly, feeling for areas that are tight or painful.
- Once you find this “trigger point”, pause on this area and relax as much as possible in the position. You should start to feel your muscles relax in about 30 seconds. Remember, SMRT is not a test of your pain threshold, it is a recovery technique. The goal is to slowly work the roller around the desired area to loosen up the entire muscle group, to restore your muscles back to their normal function.
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