Self-myofascial release can be an incredible tool to have for your workouts and your recovery. For those who don’t know what it is, myofascial release is soft tissue therapy and is often used for the treatment of muscle pain and immobility. Most commonly, it comes in the form of a foam roller and it focuses primarily on the fascia and other connective tissues in the body, similar to a massage. Myofascial release is used as an alternative treatment for chronic back and neck pain, headaches, migraines, scoliosis, restriction of motion, TMJ or jaw pain, and plantar fasciitis.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford regular massages or an athletic trainer to regularly rub out the kinks, soreness, and tight spots in their muscles caused by exercise. So, the purpose of myofascial release is for people to massage themselves, with the benefit of being able to control precisely where and how much pressure to apply.
If you’re looking to make self-myofascial release a part of your workout plan, our personal trainers in Rittenhouse want to help our clients say goodbye to sore muscles the right way with this brief guide.
How to Perform Self-Myofascial Release
Myofascial release is broken down into two categories: direct and indirect release. Direct release is often referred to as “deep tissue work.” This method of myofascial release uses force or weight, with the use of tools, knuckles, or elbows to slowly stretch the fascia, hoping to bring about elongation and mobility. Indirect release is a more gentle method, where less pressure is applied encouraging the fascia to slowly “unwind” itself until greater movement is achieved.
Foam rolling is a very popular form of myofascial release. Foam rolling is used to treat most muscles in the body, including the glutes and piriformis muscles, adductors, gastrocnemius (calves), quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip flexors.
Tennis balls are another great tool to use to achieve myofascial release at home. They’re great because a tennis ball covers a much smaller surface area, which causes more pressure on that one specific spot in the body.
Things to remember:
● Keep a balance between pleasure and pain that is effective, yet tolerable.
● Always move slowly and consciously.
● Count 10 breaths at each location, compress, and make small movements into the direction of restriction.
● Stretch after every myofascial release session.
Try to avoid:
● Having a “no pain, no gain” mentality, this could lead to injury.
● Beating up the same spots repeatedly. If you’re having consistent pain even after self-myofascial sessions, call your doctor.
If you need assistance with myofascial release or think you need to make adjustments to your exercise routine, reach out to us to work with the best personal trainers in Philadelphia at Philly Personal Training! Contact us by phone at 267-455-0100 or fill out our contact form.