Be Less Shite Series: Foam Rolling

November 14, 2018

We are generally chronically tight in certain areas of our body, some of us have tighter spots than others based on genetics and lifestyle but I have never met an athlete who cannot benefit from “concentrated release techniques”. We at FFS Gyms and you have no interest in rolling about aimlessly on a foam roller for 20 mins. If you have been doing that, in the nicest way possible, you are doing it wrong! 

 

If you want to know how to use foam rolling to lift heavier weights,move faster and feel better click here

 

In a really  simple explanation:  trigger pointing, foam rolling, myofascial release etc is all about a neural response. We want to send a signal from that trigger area to our brain that says “relax”. This signal travels from the nerve ending on the tight spot to the brain and back again. The area you target tells the brain the specific target of tightness and the brain tells the target area to relax.  How we achieve that is by targeting the area really specifically. Concentrating on a spot about the size of a coin and applying deliberately controlled pressure while maintaining slow breathing. The more concentrated the pressure the louder the signal. Which in turn helps achieve that release of tension in a short period of time.  We want to release our body from these tight positions so we can move freely, lift heavier and produce higher outputs. Depending on your level of tightness the period of time spent on this will vary and quite quickly you will find your hot spots and they will always be your first point of call. 

 

If you want to know how to use foam rolling to lift heavier weights,move faster and feel better click here

 

Tips to get the most out of your release techniques:
1-Do a quick scan of your body: Have a slow controlled roll on the target area and find the area that is the biggest hot spot.
2- Spend 60-90 seconds specifically on that area with just bodyweight while maintaining slow and controlled breathing.
3- While maintaining constant pressure start to integrate movement on the target limb. Think curl your heel towards your glute while rolling your quads or moving your arm while targeting your pecs/lats.
4-Incredibly uncomfortable is fine.... think 8/10 as a max. If you cannot maintain your breathing or if you have to grimace and clench your jaw then ease off. A clenched jaw or agitated state blurs the neural signal and it's is counterproductive. If you grimace or clench the jaw/fists etc.. this increases tension in the neck, shoulders, back and jaw. This increase in tension drowns out the neural signal from the tight area you are rolling.  
5- Remember you can't roll out a knot in your skeleton. (Don't ever think that) Stick to muscles and stay away from bones, joints, lower back and bruises. Think meat and muscle and areas of tightness.
6-Be Honest! Are you actually on the tightest spot. Are you breathing properly? Are your movements deliberate and controlled? 

Treat your release techniques like the rest of your training. You want to get a result from it. If you have been rolling around for a while and you're getting ok results. Don't settle! Try the above and see if you can get bigger results with less time. Just don't expect it to be comfortable. 

 

 
Craig is a personal trainer and S&C coach at FFS Gyms if you like to know more about effective foam rolling contact here. If you want to be less shite and really reach your potential both in terms of both nutrition and training . Definitely contact here!

 

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