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3 Jul 2017

Roll Away Aches & Pains

Self-myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling,” has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness.

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, a tennis ball, Theracane, or your own hands.

This free form of massage and relaxation is easy applied to your daily routine and the great thing is that you will feel the results almost immediately!

Foam rolling can transform tension in your body and can make you feel more relaxed and relieved after a long day of working at a desk or participating in your favourite sport.

An added benefit is this  simple 5-minute practise of foam rolling can easily fit into anybodies schedule and can even while watching the television.

By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function meaning when your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Although, there are many ways of releasing stress in your body through foam rolling, here are our top 4 most important areas to roll out because they are some of the biggest muscles that work hard at supporting us everyday and therefore tend to carry a lot of unconscious stress:

1. Quads
The front of our upper thighs can to be rolled out applying evenly weighted pressure from the tops of our knees to our hip flexor. The slower the rolling out occurs, the more effective. Make sure you hold your body position with your forearms on the ground. 1 – 2 minutes of slow rolls with slow breaths will do the job!

Self-myofascial release quad roll

2. IT BAND ( sides of upper thigh)
The sides of our upper thighs hold a lot of emotional tension. Through the slow execution of the rolls, some people may feel pockets of tension. Make sure you go through these areas slowly. Sometimes, you can hold the foam roller on a specific point. Make sure you are not at 100% intensity! Work through the knots slowly. 1 minute each side will do.

Self-myofascial release IT Band foam roller

3. Back
The back holds a lot of tension from sitting at the computer and driving. Slow rolls all the way up to your shoulder blades will decrease tension throughout your whole back and shoulders. Make sure that your spine is slightly curved when rolling out this area. 30 seconds to 1 minute will do.

Self-myofascial release Back foam roller

4. Lats
For the Lats ( Foam roller is placed under the sides of your armpits) it is best to roll front to back instead of up and down your body. Make sure to relax your neck and jaw while you roll out this area. Each side can be rolled out for 1 minute. This will release emotional tension and shoulder pain.

Self-myofascial release Lat foam roller

Thank you to the fantastic fitness team at THE ART OF BODY who we partner with to provide professional personal fitness training on our Fit Goddess Retreats and for sharing this article.

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