Myofascial Release can be performed with multiple modalities depending on preference. Some may choose a foam roller, thera-cane or a tennis ball. Different modalities will allow for a deeper more intense experience. Before grabbing any modality lets take a look at why one would need or want to use myofascial release in their program.
Our muscles are surrounded by a layer of fascia which holds our muscles in the correct position. Once the fascia is misaligned it pulls on the muscles in different directions which could cause pain in multiple locations in the body. By using myofascial release on tight and shortened muscles, you can relieve tension by activating our GTO response. Our GTO response will then activate our autogenic inhibition which will allow the muscle to relax and be realigned by rolling over the tender spots for 30-60 seconds.
Once the tight and shortened muscle has been released, you can perform static stretching to that muscle. Hold each stretch for 15-60 seconds to help increase the flexibility of that muscle.
When performing exercises using the foam roller, find a tight muscle and roll back and forth on that muscle until it has loosened. There may be some pain when performing these exercises but this is normal and as the muscle loosens up the pain will subside. If the pain doesn’t subside stop the exercise.
IT Band (Iliotibial band)
- Lie on your side placing the foam roller under your leg. Brace your upper body by placing your forearm on the ground.
- Keep your body straight while rolling across the form roller.
- Once you feel a sore or tight spot, stop on that area until discomfort goes away and then move on.
- Sit on top of foam roller. Cross one leg on top of other leg if you can. If not, just place both feet on the ground.
- Roll your weight onto one side of your butt. Keep your upper body straight. Once you feel a sore or tight spot, stop on that area until discomfort goes away and then move on.