SMR on the ITB

Benefits of the foam roller and self myofascial release

So you have seen a foam roller in the gym or at your physio’s clinic. You may have seen them gathering dust in the corner at your friends house, You may have seen people rolling up and down on a Foam roller with a pained expression on their face, but what is the foam roller actually for?

Well the reason the foam roller is so popular and seen being used by so many people is because they offer a wide range of benefits when used properly and are really cost effective for the benfits they provide.

Unfortunately foam rollers are not going to provide you with 6 pack abs like the awesome machines on the infomercials! But other benefits include:

  • Help to improve mobility and joint range of motion
  • Reduction of scar tissue and adhesions within muscles and fascia
  • Decrease tone of overactive muscles, helping to repair muscular imbalances
  • Improved quality of movement due to more functionally efficient muscles
  • Cheap and efficient method to fill in the gaps between hands-on sessions of active release technique and/or deep tissue massage
How that applies to you is probably what you are wondering. Well stop to think how much of your time you spend shortening muscles, fascia and connective tissue. Its not just during physical activity and exercise like Strength training or running. It is also time sitting in a chair at work all day, driving your car  and even lying in bed at night is all time where muscles and fascia can become shortened, cramped and tight. This is turn can greatly reduce the functional efficiency of your muscles and movements Compare this to how much time you spend stretching, five minutes at the end of a training session maybe?  Its a pretty one sided comparison.
So how does the foam roller work? Foam rolling is a form of ‘myofacsial release’, this essentially means that much like in remedial massage, you are releasing tension from your muscles and surrounding fascia through applying pressure on trigger points and tense areas, Fascia is the soft tissue of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other.
Basically what that means is you are getting the benefits of stretching plus a whole lot more. Its important to remember that muscles need to be pliable as well as strong. No matter what your sporting discipline or fitness level, whether you’re a bodybuilder, strength athlete, or ordinary weekend warrior, it’s important to have strength and optimal function through a full range of motion. While stretching will improve the length of the muscle, SMR and massage work will adjust the tone of the muscle. Combining stretching and SMR work will vastly improve your results compared to stretching alone.

SMR on the foam roller offers an effective, inexpensive, and convenient way to both reduce adhesion and scar tissue accumulation, and eliminate what’s already present on a daily basis. Just note that like stretching, foam rolling doesn’t yield marked improvements overnight; you’ll need to be diligent and stick with it (although you’ll definitely notice acute benefits).

Watch this space for more information on SMR. We will be releasing some tutorials for  popular problem areas over the next few weeks. Or CONTACT US  for an in depth analysis of what you need to work on.






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