Face up to this fact: healthy fascia = better function. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, your movement patterns are only as smooth as your myofascia is pliable, lubricated and attended to.
Myofascia is a sheath of tissue that wraps you from head to toe. It holds your muscles together. Fascia is also found within muscles. If myofascial fills with adhesions or becomes too stiff due to dehydration, repetitive use patterns or, conversely, from inactivity, the tissue fibers will lack the ability to glide. Failing fascia inhibits joint range of motion, muscular function and, in many cases, causes discomfort and pain. However, maintaining a healthy fascia web is simple. All you need is a long foam roller, an understanding of self-myofascial release techniques and a handful of minutes.
Your rolling protocol should as pliable and reliable as your fascia! You can do it pre or post workout or in-between workouts. You can roll one part of your body or many. There are few rules. But, to see results, you need to roll regularly.
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Roll Your Way to Flexibility and Function
Try the sequence below. Repeat each move below about 5 times. Linger on tender areas (trigger points) for up to 30 seconds. The movements should not be painful, but some movements might feel uncomfortable when you hit a tight spot. Avoid rolling on your joints.
Sit on the ground with the roller under your lower legs. Find a comfortable place for your hands on the ground. Slowly roll up and down both calves. Then focus on one calf at a time. Cross your left leg on top of your right, so you can really dig into tender spots in your right calf. Try rotating your leg slightly to hit the tissue on the inside and outside of your calf. Switch legs.
Sit with the roller under both thighs. Place your hands behind you. Roll slowly up and down the length of the hamstring. For a deeper release, cross your ankles and favor one leg. Explore the entire muscle by rotating your hip internally and externally to hit the outer regions of your hamstring.
Ischial Tuberosity and Glutes (Your Tush Tissue):
Sit on the roller with your hands on the roller. Rock side-to-side. Then, take your hands to the floor behind you. Position your feet flat on the floor. Place your left ankle on your right thigh and rock side-to-side. Switch legs.
From an all fours position, place the roller underneath you. Lower yourself into a forearm plank so the roller is under your upper thighs. Stabilize yourself on your forearms and shift your body forward to roll. When you hit a tight spot, bend and straighten your legs.
Lie on your back with the roller running down the length of your spine. Your head and tailbone should rest on the roller. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Sweep your arms overhead and down to your sides like a snow angel.