What is Foam Rolling and Why Do Your Lower Back, Upper Back and IT Band NEED it?
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, which is just a fancy-schmancy term for self-massage. Foam rolling (and other forms of self-massage or tissue work) releases the tightness and knots that form within the muscle by helping to elongate the muscle tissue by breaking up scar tissue and any trigger points.
Often foam rolling can not get to the deepest layers of tissue because it is such a blunt / broad object (as compared to a softball or lacrosse ball) but it is still an effective way to start working on knots and trigger points.
What’s a trigger point? You can think of it like a little knot, or patch of extra dense tissue that causes pain and problems in your body. A trigger point is an area in the muscle that can lead to pain in other areas of the body. For example, a trigger point in the back muscle could be causing your neck pain.
Foam rolling also to slowly decrease the tone (density) of your muscles. This increases blood circulation and even nerve “flow” and helps speed up the muscle recovery process. A side benefit of foam rolling (and tissue work in general) is that it will also help with flexibility – something that we could all use some more of!
Try out this basic foam roller sequence and when you are ready you can graduate to some slightly more targeted tissue exercises.
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