What is self-myofascial release (SMR?) And, more importantly, how can it assist you in you in your health, fitness, and wellness journey?
This article breaks it down and explains why you should be adding regular SMR sessions into your weekly routine.
First of all, what is SMR?
Self-myofascial release, otherwise known as foam rolling, is an alternative medicine therapy useful for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.
How do you do it?
You begin SMR by placing a foam roller, ball, or even rolling pin under the affected muscles and releasing body weight into the chosen tool. From here, you have the option of either holding this position to release or rolling back and forth for 20-30 seconds.
By releasing one’s full body weight into the foam roller, the muscle is restricted. As you roll through, past, and over the muscle, blood flow will return to the area that had been previously restricted and aid in the process of repair and recovery. This restriction improves the muscle’s extensibility factor, making it more pliable and less prone to injury in the future! A healthy muscle is a flexible muscle.
But, if that isn’t enticing enough for you, here are some of the other incredible benefits to SMR:
Correction of muscle imbalances
Improved joint range of motion
Improved neuromuscular efficiency
Reduced soreness and improved tissue recovery
Suppression/reduction of trigger point sensitivity
Provide optimal length-tension relationships
Decrease the overall effects of stress on the human movement system
Some studies have even proven SMR effective in reducing cellulite
Take a look at some of the basic foam rolling exercises to easily filter into your week and improve overall muscle recovery and function.
Want to learn more about exercise related tips and tricks? Check out other topics on our blog!
National Academy if Sports Medicine
Certified Personal Trainer - NASM