What is myofascial release? How can I perform myofascial release at home? by Sam Tonner, The Workout Company Personal Trainer
Myofascial release is the practice of using a firm object such as a foam roller, baseball or tennis ball to apply pressure over the entire length of a muscle which will increase blood supply and loosen any knots that are in that muscle. Breaking the word down, myo is a latin prefix for muscle, and fascia is a vascularized and protective covering that surrounds each muscle. When pressure is applied to a muscle and its surrounding fascia, blood flow is increased which will warm and loosen the muscle. I often use myofascial release as a warm up for my clients because it prepares the muscles for work. Hitting all of the major muscle groups such as the quads, hamstrings, glutes, upper and lower back is great muscle preparation for any sort of exercise. The most common tool used for myofascial release is a foam roller. These rollers are most commonly around 6″ in diameter and around 2-3′ long. This way an individual can easily hit all major muscle groups effectively. Other popular tools are baseball or tennis balls that can be held in the hand and used to work isolated areas of pain or tightness. One can be creative in their own personal myofascial release, I have used cans of soup, rolling pens, and golf balls to effectively perform myofascial release. While myofascial release does increase flexibility, it should not be a direct replacement for static or dynamic stretching, rather it should be integrated into any exercise program for optimal results.
Sam believes in a safe and effective workout based on your current fitness level, limitations, and overall wants and desires. He has assisted many individuals in correcting and reversing chronic knee, hip, upper and lower back, and shoulder problems through the use of corrective exercises. Training without pain engages muscles properly, gives the most benefit to clients and helps them to be ready for anything life throws at them. Sam trains his clients to this motto, “When we face a time in our lives where all of our training comes down to one point, we do not rise to the occasion, but fall to our level of training.” We need to train to our fullest potential so we can be confident in everything we do.