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Self Myofacial Release (Foam Rolling)
 
Foam Rolling
Also know as "Self Myofacial Release" (SMR). Foam rolling applys gentle force to the adhesion or "knot in the muscle" which manipulates the elastic collagenous fibers from a bundled position (that causes the knot) into an alignment that is more parallel with the direction of the muscle, thus releasing the knot and allowing muscle function to improve.

The adhesions or "knots" are simply scar tissue caused by trauma to the tissue. The trauma could be because something simple as prolonged sitting or standing and repetitive movement, or due to a more obvious trauma such as a strength training workout or surgery. Knots alter an individual's ability to move freely and thus inhibits movement.

SMR should be used as a "warm-up" exercise and performed prior to the individuals entire workout routine. SMR combined with proper static stretching prior to exercise can significantly improve individual's flexibility and movement patterns. This then allows the body to work at the optimal performance levels, and also prevents injury! SMR can also be used as a very effective "cool-down".

SO, how do you do it? Using the foam roller and your own body weight, apply necessary pressure to the adhesion and surrounding muscle. The pressure should be sustained on the tender spot until the discomfort is diminished by 75%, and should take 20-30seconds on each tender area. It is important to relax during this, as tensing up will only increase the knots or tighten muscle areas. Repeat the procedure on other needed muscle groups.

Photographs are shown below to illustrate the use of the foam roller on various muscle groups. See also stick roller for more point specific myofascial release.
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #1) calfs

1. Place foam roller under mid-calf.

2. Cross left leg over right to increase pressure (optional), or roll on both at the same time.

3. Slowly roll calf area from achilles tendon area up to the knee.

 

 

 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #2) Hamstrings
1. Place foam roller under the hamstrings with hips unsupported up off the ground.

2. Slowly roll from knees up to the lower glut area.
   
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #3) IT Band
1.Lie on one side and cross the top leg over the bottom leg for balance and support.

2. Keeping the bottom leg straight, roll from the hip joint down to the knee joint.
   
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #4) Adductors
1. Lie on the foam roller at the groin and upper thigh region.

2. Keep the roller at the same angle as your leg.

3. Roll from your knee up into the groin while keeping the leg straight.
   
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #5) Quadriceps
1. Lie prone with the foam roller on your quads.

2. Keep your core tight and use arms to help roll from pelvic bone area to knee area.
   
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #6) Shins
1. Kneel on foam roller while using arms to support your weight.

2. Roll from front of knee all the way down to bottom of shin.
   
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #7) Back
1. Sit on the floor with the foam roller placed behind back.

2.Tuck chin into your chest to support neck and cross arms over chest to keep shoulder blades in.

3. Roll from your upper back to lowest point of your ribs.
   
 
Sweaty Netty's
                                              Fitness #8) Latissimus Dorsi
1. Lie on your side with the foam roller placed in the auxiliary place of your armpit.

2.Place thumb up towards ceiling and roll up onto ribs and back up into armpit area.
   
 
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