Foam Roller and Myofascial Ball

If fitness is part of your journey, you can attest to the feeling of soreness, tightness and/or knots.

In these recent weeks of changing up my fitness routines, I have noticed how much more challenged my body responds to the stimuli I put it through. Some of the routines I have added are ones I haven’t done in a while, so I knew my body would show signs of soreness, tightness and/or knots.

I wanted to share with YOU, if you are feeling tightness or a specific area that is nagging, when to use the benefits or a foam roller or a myofasical ball.

I went out for a 1 mile run the other day and felt great. However, the next day I could feel very specifically, in my glute/hamstring area, a bit of discomfort. I knew it was a bit tight, but it felt like a knot had formed.

SIDE NOTE: Always keep in mind what kind of workouts you are doing, which will give a story on why you may feel the way you do.

I had just finished foam rolling, which made it feel a little better, but it just felt like I needed something more spot on to get the specific area I was feeling. So I called over one of my awesome Exercise Physiologist co-workers to talk about what would be the next step from foam rolling. He highly suggested the myofascial ball and had me do some specific movements on it to get to the discomfort I was having.

After talking, I learned that using the foam roller was a great way to roll out deep tissue in 1 smooth motion, but it doesn’t give the manipulation and flexibility of a myofascial ball to release the tension in a specific area.

After giving him more detail on my run, it was concluded that, that definitely could have been the result of why I was having specific discomfort instead of just regular soreness. I was running with my dog, out outdoors (which can always tend to be uneven)- My dog kept moving from side to side BEHIND ME, which would cause me to have to shift from time to time. That’s why I said earlier, always keep in mind what kind of workout you are doing because it can give a story on how you may feel the next couple days.

I wanted to leave off with you this great information my co-worker shared. Its worth the read to educate and understand our body in how it works and reacts to different stimuli.

Fascia – a band or sheet of connective tissue, primarily collagen, beneath the skin that attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles and other internal organs. Myofascial Release through foam rolling the fascia is targeted to reducing tightness, thus increasing range of motion.

Benefits: Myofascial release can reduce tissue tension and muscle tightness to increase joint range of motion (ROM).  •Regular use of foam rollers for myofascial release can alleviate muscle tightness, helping to ensure optimal joint ROM and enhance overall movement performance.

Knots: Knots in the muscle are created if a muscle is held in a specific position during extended periods of inactivity or overused during repetitive motions.

When a muscle is inactive or over used, collagen can form between the layers of skeletal muscle, which can create adhesion or knots that restrict the ability of muscle. 

Tension Length: Foam rollers can help restore the proper length-tension relationship to muscles. 

Muscles will compensate to move a joint which can lead to improper tension between groups of muscles.

Improper tension length creates an imbalance that can cause the muscles working on the opposite side of a joint to lengthen and become inhibited. 

Repair: Foam rollers help reduce soreness after an exercise session to promote the recovery process.

Exercise-induced muscle damage signals the repair process. 

The pressure from rolling can help increase blood flow and elevate heat in the involved tissue.

Using Foam Roller: Foam rollers provide the greatest response when placing a body-part directly on to it.

Then moving to apply pressure to the underlying tissues using your own bodyweight.

Using a foam roller after exercise can help minimize the risk of the new collagen forming adhesions (knots) between layers. – By Alex W.

If you have not tried the foam roller or myofascial ball, its worth the try!!!!

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