Clients shutter when I bring out this little marshmallow stick…
Stick-ing people is one of the best parts of my day. If you’ve never used a stick before you’re in for a treat.
Why do I love myofascial release so much? Well, about four years ago now I started spinning on a regular basis. I did that for about 3 months and then returned to running. The switch back was awful. My knees felt like they were locking with every step. I had to stop exercising for almost six weeks and that was horrible. I knew I had IT band problems so I went to see physio after physio, getting ultrasounds, stretches and various strengthening exercises. Nothing worked. I then spoke to a super fit friend of mine who suggested I try myofacial release (the stick or foam roller) and it was amazing!
The first time I hooped on a foam roller I was sweating from the pain after two minutes. Determined to get better … typical A type, I brought my foam roller with me everywhere; university common rooms, libraries, boyfriends house, etc. I’d pull out my foam roller and roll for 5-10 minutes here and there. People thought I was nuts … probably still do! But it worked! I was back to running and had no pain whatsoever. The myofacial miracle maker!
Here’s why myofacial release essential:
We have layers of fasica tissue all over our body. Fasica, unlike muscle does not have a muscle belly and therefore it cannot be stretched with typical methods of stretching.
Imagine a pizza dough being stretched out from your hip to your knee. It will be bunchy. You need a roller to roll out the bunches in the dough… the same thing happens with your fascia.
If you don’t stretch your fascia then you will be far more prone to injury. I argue that it is the single most important thing to stretch. You will know when your fasica is in good shape because rolling over it should be absolutely painless.
A great alternative to a stick is the foam roller:
The foam roller will accomplish the same thing as a stick but BE RUTHLESS.
Make sure you’re rolling over an uncomfortable spot, resist the temptation to make it easier by shifting your weight to a comfortable place.
Here’s a video of how to use your foam roller: