Does Foam Rolling Improve Performance?

Why do we foam roll?

Foam rolling, or self myofascia release, is an inexpensive self-massage that is used to restore movement in tight matted down muscles. To help you better understand this concept, let’s talk about what fascia and myofascia does in your body. Fascia is like a spider web that supports nerves, organs, and the vascular system. Myofascia is simply fascia that covers muscles. The problem lies when myofascia becomes restricted in our bodies. This is due to poor breathing, previous or present injury, scar tissue, poor movement patterns, and immobility. When myofascia becomes restricted it leads to a decrease in your ability to move dynamically, or fluidly throughout a range of motion.
In my playing career SMR (foam rolling) was a GAME CHANGER. I was always super tight and restricted, but things really started to change when I spent time before workouts and games improving my soft tissue quality. I was able to move better, I recovered quicker, my mobility started to improve, I ran faster, and I was able to get into stronger positions in my swing.

How do you foam roll?

Fascia responds best to SLOW & DELIBERATE movements as well as increased PRESSURE. Slow your rolling down and if you can, add more pressure to each muscle your rolling! An easy and safe way you can add pressure is by having a teammate or workout partner give you a little push or put a little bit of their weight on the muscle your rolling.

What do you “roll”?

When you perform your SMR (foam rolling) you want to address your tight or restricted areas to improve your performance. For me, I always spent time on my lats, hamstrings, and calves as they were always so restricted. However, everyone’s body is different and will require different areas to focus on.

What can you use if you don’t have a foam roller?

PVC pipe, Lacrosse Ball, Baseball, Softball, Medicine Ball, Smooth Part of a Barbell.

I hope this was able to help some of you guys! If you have any more questions please leave them below for me to answer!

-Alex

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