As the fitness industry continues to grow it is becoming ever more important to take care of your body with proper recovery. Not only sleep and nutrition is necessary but giving the appropriate attention to your muscles they deserve. There are a lot of products out there that are inexpensive and will give your muscles the benefit of deep tissue work. This process is called SMR or Self-Myofacial Release.
Foam rollers are perfect for “rolling out” your muscles includes the quads, hamstrings, triceps, and calves. These help your muscles by returning them and your soft tissue to their native form. Further, by regaining the normal state, range of motion is improved as well as overall performance.1 For best results it is recommended to use a high density foam roller like the Cando®.
General guidelines for using these rollers are2:
1) Make sure to hold each position for 1-2 minutes.
2) If pain is present go ahead an rest on the painful area for 30-45 seconds.
3) If you continue to roll over the pain it could increase tightness
Below are suggested exercises 2:
IT Band: While on your side, raise yourself up as if in a side plank. Place the roller under the bottom leg, bend the top leg and bring it in front for support. Be sure the head is neutral- ears aligned with your shoulders. Begin rolling just below the hips and down the lateral thigh.
Hamstring: Place the roller under the hamstrings. You can cross your legs to increase leverage and roll from the knee towards to back hip. Keep your quads tight.
Quadriceps: Position yourself stomach down and roller under the quads. While maintaining proper control of your core, roll from the pelvic bone to the knee.
Another great tool is a lacrosse ball to really work the knots. What sets a ball apart from the roller is the ability to work lower back muscles like the Serratus and upper back like the Trapezius. Allegro
Medical carries the FitBALL Spiky Balls designed with sensory points to help encourage stimulation.
It should be noted that when doing SMR it will be painful especially if you had an intense workout. However, the benefits far outweigh the discomfort.
1Barnett, Jeff. “Science Says Foam Rolling Increases ROM and Does Not Decrease Strength.”Breaking Muscle. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/science-says-foam-rolling-increases-rom-and-does-not-decrease-strength
2Clark, Michael, MS, PT, PES, CSCS, and Alan Russell, ATC, NASM-PES, CSCS. “Self-Myofascial Release Techniques.” Perform Better! N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2013. http://www.performbetter.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PBOnePieceView?storeId=10151