Articles in Category: Injury Prevention

Myofascial Release using the Stick and Foam Roller

on 03/31/10. Category: Get Fit Healthy Blog, Injury Prevention

When you are doing a 6 week program like Boot Camp, you need tools to help keep you moving and working towards your goal. You know that eating the right foods at the right time is crucial to really accomplish what you set out to do in Boot Camp. You know that getting enough rest is important to help you recover from workout to workout. One thing that I think that you might be overlooking is the importance of massage or self Myofascial Release, here is the definition:

Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction and accompanying pain and restriction of motion. This is accomplished by relaxing contracted muscles, increasing circulation, increasing venous and lymphatic drainage, and stimulating the stretch reflex of muscles and overlying fascia.[1]

In English that means applying a light massage to your muscles. It is extremely important to keep your muscles healthy and knot free. Stretching alone will not work for keeping length in your muscles. Imagine a long tube. If I tie a knot in that tube and begin to stretch it, what happens to the knot. It remains and gets even tighter. This is where you need to do self myofascial release on that muscle.

TheStickMost of us can not afford to go get a massage everyday or even a few times a week. I do encourage our clients and Boot Campers to try and get a real massage at least twice a month, but for the purpose of keeping your muscles functioning properly on a day to day basis I recommend using a tool like "The Stick" or a Foam Roller. We have been using these tools for the last 5 years and have had great success with them.

The correct amount of pressure used to self massage with the stick or roller is seven pounds. We want to massage the soft tissue. If you go beyond that, you are into the deep tissue. Unless you are a skilled massage therapist, you should not go deep in the muscle tissue. This is why a lot of trainers and therapists do not recommend the roller. It is easy to go to deep with the foam roller. The Stick on the other hand is easier to control pressure. Below is a good video on using the Stick. Remember we do sell the medium sized stick at our gym for $39 and you will get 10% off with your wristband. You will not find it cheaper anywhere. It is a good investment. I use my Stick everyday.