Everyone has heard of it, but how many people are doing it the right way? I don’t claim to be an expert, but with just a small bit of research there are A LOT of opinions and ideas of the best way to roll out those nasty trigger points. Here is a list of tips that I have put together to help make your foam rolling more effective:
- Like stretching, rolling out should never be done quickly.
Our muscles/tendons have a protection mechanism that fires when they are stretched to quickly which causes them to contract, and now you’ve lost that relaxation of the muscle.
- Be sure to pause for 15-20 seconds when you hit a “knot”.
Trigger points, more commonly referred to as knots, take some time to release. A slight pause in the roll with some slight muscle contraction in time with a couple deep breathes is an effective of speeding up the release.
- Roll both above and below target area.
Fascia is continuous throughout the body, engaging and rolling above and below ensure no latent knots are left behind. Often where you feel the pain isn’t always the source of the pain. Fascia being so interconnected can pass tension both up and down the web, so be sure to cover all sources.
- Don`t roll directly over injured or bruised area.
Rolling directly on the injured area can cause more inflammation and pain, which in turn can increase the tension and decrease blood flow. If bruised a lighter roll closer to the heart or body will help flush the area and allow new blood in to speed up the healing process.
- Different shapes and sizes of rollers can make rolling that much more effective.
A great example is when rolling out the deeper hip muscle. A standard 3-4 inch foam roller isn`t very effective in getting between the many bony prominences of the pelvic girdle, using a tennis or lacrosse ball will be much more effective in getting into the deep hip muscles.
Blog Written by Jason Togeretz RMT