Everything You Need To Know about Myofascial Release
As mentioned in some previous blogs, Myofascial Release is a technique, known to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles. This blog furthers to a deeper understanding of how this technique really works on your muscles and how can you use it to release tension from your muscles.
Fascia is that complex compound which holds our muscles, nerves and organs together. This three-dimensional complex matrix threads itself throughout our body, surrounding our muscles, organs, nerves, bones, blood vessels and even our cells. Everything is held together and in place by fascia. We may experience pain or difficulty in our muscles without actual injuries. This is due to the stiffness of the fascia. Thus, the fascia is vital and must be taken care of. Myofascial release techniques are designed to go in and smooth out this complex matrix, returning the fascia to its normal fluid and adaptable self. This technique is a safe and very effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. At times, it may not be economically or practically possible to resort to professional means to release tension in our muscles. This is where where foam rolling and other similar exercises come into the picture. In fact a simple tool like a tennis ball can also be used. When we put pressure on these fascial trigger points, they are released, and we can get back to optimal physical performance. Use of foam rollers and balls physically de-stresses your body so it can work more efficiently and aids with tight muscles. That is why Self Myofascial Release is not only efficient but also vital. But while putting these tools to use, it is important to remember to stay away from the bone or any swollen tissue.
Here are 4 MFR exercises that you can try-
Sit on your mat with your legs straight out in front of you in a narrow V shape. Slide a tennis ball under each thigh and position them directly under your sitting bones.
Try leaning forward and back to increase or decrease the sensation as needed, but resist the urge to stretch forward, as stretching will pull on the muscle.
When you’re ready, move the tennis balls so that they’re about 1/3 of the way between your hips and knees and repeat the process. Then do the same with the tennis balls positioned about 2/3 of the way between your hips and knees.
2. Calf muscles
Roll up your mat to 2–3 inches in diameter. With your hands and knees on the floor, bring your forehead to the ground and tuck the rolled up mat into the crook of your knees.
Gently sit up on your knees.Spend some time here before releasing the mat and moving it to a point on your calves that’s about 1/3 of the distance between your knees and ankles.
Sit up again, allowing your body weight to press the mat into your calves. Repeat with the mat positioned 2/3 of the way between your knees and ankles.
3. Back muscles
With your knees bent, lie on the mat with the tennis balls positioned on either side of your spine.
Allow your bodyweight to press the tennis balls into the muscles on either side of your spine. When you’re ready, use your legs to roll up two inches so that the tennis balls roll down your spine.
Spend some time here and then continue to roll the balls down your back two inches at a time. Once you’ve traveled the length of your spine remove the tennis balls.
4. Hip muscles
Lie down with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet on your mat. Slide the tennis balls under your hips so that they’re positioned about 1 inch from either side of your sacrum.
Rest here for as long as you like before straightening the right leg and moving the right tennis ball further away from the sacrum. Use your bent left leg to roll to the right slightly, increasing the pressure.
Continue to move the tennis ball away from the sacrum a little at a time, rolling your body to apply pressure. And release.