Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds all of the structures in your body, from head to toe. In very simple terms, it’s the webbing that encases the body. Due to several factors including: poor hydration, poor posture, and injuries, we form trigger points in fascia that can keep us from performing at a high level. Today we are going to use the foam roller to perform self myofascial release techniques on two areas of the body that tend to hold a lot of trigger points.
The first area is going to be the thoracic spine and also the areas around the shoulder blades. For a lot of us, we sit hunched over a computer for a significant part of the day. This poor posture causes trigger points to form in these areas. To perform this technique, lay face up on the roller. Place your feet flat on the floor and use them to guide your back up and down the roller. Also, take your arms and give yourself a hug, to open up the tissue around the shoulder blades. When you've found a sensitive area, stay on that area and take a few deep breaths, like your breathing into that area. One of the most important things to do when we’ve found a tender spot, is to relax your face, and picture that area in your mind relaxing.
The other area we are going to foam roll is the quadriceps. This group of four muscles gets very tight when we sit for extended periods of time. For most of us, that’s a significant portion of our day. To perform this technique, we will lay face down placing the roller on our thighs. We can start with doing both legs at the same time, but eventually we can transition to one leg at a time to allow for our body weight to apply more pressure. Rest the forearms on the ground and use them to guide us up and down the roller from the hip to the knee. We want to use the same techniques mentioned above to help the trigger points release.
Try these two techniques to help reduce the stress that our workday places on our body, and see your running improve.
Wayne Earney MS, CSCS, PES, CES
*Foam rollers are available for sale at 605 Running Company.