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Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling): A Tool for Muscle Recovery and Repair

Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling): A Tool for Muscle Recovery and Repair

Hey ‘Stachers!

Have you started to practice mindful eating?  Have you noticed any changes in how you are consuming food?  Share with us your thoughts! 

Have you noticed our new mobility tool on our website?  We have created a 3-in-1 roller for a full body massage.  It includes a large foam roller for larger areas like the back and shoulders, quads and calves, a low-density roller for light recovery, and a rumble stick for areas the foam rollers have difficulty reaching.  They are conveniently stackable for easy travel and has our one of a kind mustache logo on it (for an added bonus).  To celebrate our new product, we are going to talk about self-myofascial release a.k.a. foam rolling!

What is Self-Myofascial Release?

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to activate the release of muscle tightness or trigger points.  Foam rolling applies direct pressure using body weight and gravity to muscles and tissues which stretches and massages the targeted area.  This reduces tension in the muscles and helps to reduce fatigue, improves recovery, and can enhance your range of motion.  Foam rolling can also help break up scar tissue and adhesions to speed up healing.  For especially tight spots it might be more beneficial to apply constant pressure rather than the traditional rolling method.  Apply as much body pressure as possible and stay in that position for at least 60 seconds. 

If muscles are not taken care of properly, you can experience loss of flexibility and painful movement. Deep compressions done through foam rolling increases normal blood flow.  Foam rolling has quickly become a standard practice in all fitness exercises and should, ideally, be practiced for 10- to 20-minutes per day.

Effective Foam Rolling

Using your foam roller is pretty self-explanatory, but there are ways to make it more beneficial. Here are some pro tips for more efficient rolling:

  • Don’t always concentrate on where you feel pain directly, sometimes tension is caused from an imbalance somewhere else in the body. If you find a “sticky” spot move above and below a few inches and roll through that region. 
  • Use long rolling emotions instead of quick fast ones, moving slower allows you to have time to adapt and manage the massage. If you do have a spot that feels more tender than others, spend a bit more time in that region.
  • Don’t spend more than 30 seconds on one spot as you can cause more damage than benefit.
  • Don’t limit your foam rolling to just right before or right after the gym, use your foam roller when watching mindless TV at the end of the day to help relax muscles all over prior to going to bed.
  • Make sure to pay attention to the “hurts so good” feeling. Preexisting muscle soreness will feel more pronounced when pressure is applied to the area, but foam rolling itself should not cause any additional pain.  If you are feeling pain, try to ease up on the pressure, or take note of what is hurting – you may be discovering an injury that needs some TLC from your doctor.

The Takeaway

Foam rollers are an inexpensive tool that aids in self-massage to increase the recovery and flexibility of your muscles.  However, foam rollers are only effective if you are using them properly. Incorporating 10- to 20-minutes of foam rolling into your daily routine will result in some great benefits to your muscles over time. 

If you are looking for a great foam roller to aide in your recovery, don’t forget to check out the Musclestache 3-in-1 Roller (and next time you want to sound extra smart, refer to foam rolling as self-myofascial release).

Have you already purchased the 3-in-1 tool?  If so, show us how you roll into your workout on social media! You know where to find us!