Self Myofasical Release (SMR) is a tremendously useful tool that should be used in every training facility. All it takes is a foam roller and you can get started. It takes minutes and is well worth the time. Before we get into the how let’s get into the why.
1. SMR promotes greater elasticity within the fascia. This is the stuff that covers each muscle like a tight glove. When you use SMR techniques you can breakdown adhesions that form within the fascia due to injury or lack of physical activity, among other reasons.
This leads to changes in the tensile force throughout the local area and whole structure. Breaking down these adhesions will lead to healing around the supporting structures that might be getting “pulled’ in the wrong direction at the improper amount of force. “If fascia is restricted at the time of trauma, the forces cannot be dispersed properly and areas of the body are then subjected to an intolerable impact, and injury results. Injurious forces do not have to be enormous; a person who lacks sufficient “give” can be severely injured by minor forces” (1)
2. SMR promotes greater mobility around the joint. This would make sense because the elasticity of the fascia is already being improved. If a muscle is removed from the fascia it becomes much more flexible and malleable. The muscles maintain its shape in part by the fascia.
This increased flexibility and mobility allows for proper range of motion during movement. If the fascia loses it elasticity due to such factors as inactivity or injury the loss in elasticity will have a negative effect on both flexibility and mobility.
3. SMR decreases Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which is likely due to the fact that SMR promotes nutrients being sent to the area for healing and repair. The ability to decrease the “negative” effect after a training session will be both positive from a physiological and psychological perspective.
Being able to move a little better and not feel excess soreness or restriction the day after a heavy lift will definitely have a positive effect on that person’s psyche.
Now let’s get into the how. It is pretty easy stuff to pick up. It should take about 5, 10 minutes at most. I’m going to make this ever easier for you and make a video. Here is it so check it out!
(1) Complementary Therapies in Rehabilitation 3rd Edition Chapter 7 p.92 Carol M. Davis
SPU's Alex Drayson and Matt Migiano write the SPU Athletic Performance Blog.
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