As I’ve been in recovery (after my upper back injury last year),
self-myofascial release has been key in my continued practice of olympic lifting.
If you have any question on whether self-myofascial release is worth your time, please consider the following discussion from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
Yes: "Using a foam roll for thirty seconds to one minute (2 to 5 sessions) or roller massager for five seconds to two minutes (2 to 5 sessions) may be beneficial for enhancing joint flexibility as a pre‐exercise warmup and cool down. It may have better effects when combined with static stretching after exercise. The increases in intramuscular temperate and blood flow due to friction of the foam roll, alterations in muscle‐spindle length or stretch perception, and the foam roller mechanically breaking down scar tissue re-mobilize fascia back to a gel‐like state."
After an intense bout of exercise, does self‐myofascial release with a foam roller or roller‐massager enhance post exercise muscle recovery and reduce DOMS (delayed on-set muscle soreness)?
Yes: "Clinicians may want to consider prescribing a post‐exercise SMR program for athletes who participate in high intensity exercise. It has been postulated that DOMS is primarily caused by changes in connective tissue properties and foam rolling or roller massage may have an influence on the damaged connective tissue rather than muscle tissue. This may explain the reduction in perceived pain with no apparent loss of muscle performance. Another postulated cause of enhanced recovery is that SMR increases blood flow thus enhances blood lactate removal, edema reduction, and oxygen delivery to the muscle."
Does self‐myofascial release with a foam roll or roller‐massager prior to activity affect muscle performance?
No: "Short bouts of foam rolling (1 session for 30 seconds) or roller massage (1 session for 2 minutes) to the lower extremity prior to activity does not enhance or negatively affect muscle performance."
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