The foam roller is one of the most effective self-maintenance tools you’ll find for releasing tension and improving your overall range of motion.
We all accumulate tension in our muscles from over use, lack of stretching, and the aging process. Foam rollers release this chronic muscular tension and restructure your skeletal system in such a way that it actually aligns better with gravity.
The technique, known as self myofascial release, or SMR, involves slowly rolling across a particular muscle to release the knots, or adhesions. The idea is that just as a knotted rubber band can’t stretch to its full capacity, neither can a kinked muscle.
The SMR technique involves using your body weight to sandwich the roller between the muscle to be released and the floor. Begin by rolling at a slow pace and when you find a spot that’s tender, pause and rest on the area until you feel it release. Then continue rolling or move on to another muscle.
In the above photo, my client Krista is demonstrating the technique on her Piriformis muscle. You can begin this stretch by crossing your foot over your opposite knee, as shown, and rolling on your posterior hip.