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Incorporating Foam Rolling Into Your Workout Routine

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

Muscle relaxation

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!

How often do you foam roll after exercise?

  • After every challenging workout in my weekly routine

  • Whenever I remember too!

  • Only when my muscles are super sore

  • On occasion, when I happen to come across a foam roller

You can vote for more than one answer.

This article was written by Katy Fraggos, owner and founder of Perspirology, NJ's premiere dance cardio and trampoline fitness studio based in Sea Bright and Middletown NJ.


National Academy if Sports Medicine

Certified Personal Trainer - NASM

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