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Recovery Part 4- Self-Induced Myofascial Release (SMR

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Massage has long been used between hard training bouts to help athletes relax and
recover !nfortunately unless your sports organi"ation has an in-house #assage therapist
it can be an expensive recovery #odality for the a#ateur athlete If there is anything that
can #i#ic the effects of #assage without the steep cost it is self-induced #yofascial
release (SMR) SMR is the ter# that is #ost often associated with foa# rolling $long
with foa# rolling% other i#ple#ents such as &the stic'( tool% tennis balls% or lacrosse balls
can be used to perfor# SMR In this article we)ll briefly cover the how-to of SMR when
including it in your recovery protocol
SMR is a #anual therapy techni*ue used by individuals to help reduce restrictive barriers
or fibrous adhesions between layers of fascial tissue +ascial restrictions can occur as a
result of in,ury% disease% inactivity% or infla##ation -he end result is a loss in fascial
elasticity and the tissue can beco#e dehydrated and rigid .hen this occurs the fascia can
bind to surrounding tissues (including #uscle) causing a fibrous adhesion to for# -hese
adhesions can be painful (as in the case of trigger points)% and i#pair nor#al #uscle
#echanics including soft-tissue extensibility -he #ore rigid the tissue% the less able it is
to perfor# safely and effectively If we can create #ore suppleness in our tissues and
reduce #uscular tone through SMR than it is hypothesi"ed that we are further along in
the recovery process !nfortunately #any of the popular beneficial clai#s #ade about
SMR have not yet been validated in research /owever% SMR has been shown to i#prove
soft-tissue extensibility (pro#ote #uscle suppleness and flexibility)% as well as i#prove
vascular health -hese two supported benefits do #a'e SMR worth the short invest#ent
of ti#e re*uired to reap the benefits
-he #ost co##on tool for perfor#ing SMR is the foa# roller It is best to use a foa#
roller that is fir# enough to cause #ild disco#fort over rigid #uscle groups% yet soft
enough to allow you to stay relaxed while rolling -here is not an incorrect ti#e to foa#
roll !nli'e static stretching and so#e for#s of #assage% recent research has
de#onstrated that foa# rolling prior to activity does not cause decre#ents in #uscular
force production that #ay hinder perfor#ance Individuals with li#ited training ti#e #ay
also choose to foa# roll while resting between sets of exercise +oa# rolling post-
wor'out #ay #i#ic the effects of a flush #assage by helping to force #etabolic waste
fro# the #uscle
Research is not available to offer a reco##ended effective dose for SMR /owever%
antecdotally it does not appear that there are any ill effects to foa# rolling often and for
long durations (#ore than once per day% 01-21 #inutes) $lso antecdotally it is appears
that foa# rolling a rigid area until tenderness begins to dissipate and suppleness i#proves
is an ideal duration