By Dan Levin, Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo Elite Personal Trainer
Self Myofascial Release (SMR) or foam rolling is a technique that focuses on improving the neuromuscular and fascial systems in the body that can be compromised by poor posture, repetitive motions, or dysfunctional movements, thus creating muscle spasms that ultimately lead to adhesions (more commonly known as knots). These adhesions reduce the elasticity of the muscles and lead to altered muscular control and muscle imbalance. SMR focuses on alleviating these adhesions to restore optimal muscle length and function.
Foam rolling is best directly before a workout but can be done at any time throughout the day. By slowly rolling over the full length of the muscles and pressing into any knots, the foam roller irons out the adhesions and ensures that the muscles are loose and ready to be worked.
Roll five times on the outer, middle, and inner parts of the calf. Hold and press into any knots or tight spots.
Lie on your stomach with one forearm on the ground and your leg extended slightly to the side. Place the roller in the groin area of the extended leg and roll the inner thigh.
Lie sideways on the roller, so it sits just lower than your hip, and lift your bottom leg off the floor. Keep your body in a straight line as you roll toward your knee.
Rotate your chest toward the ground and place your bicep down on the roller right above the inside of your elbow. Rock slightly side to side to dig out your bicep. Hold if you find any tight spots and even flex and relax your bicep by flexing and extending your elbow.
Take the roller and place the backside of your upper arm (your tricep) on the roller right above your elbow. Use your other hand to press your arm down into the roller. Then rock your upper arm side to side very slightly. Hold on to any tight spots you find. If you find a tight spot, you can extend and bend your elbow to flex and relax your tricep over the roller.
Start on your side with your hands behind your head and the foam roller placed in the back crevice of your armpit. Rock forward and back to work through the rotator cuff, then roll up and down to hit the lats. Hold and press into any knots or tight spots.
Meet Dan Levin
Dan Levin enjoys the challenge of helping clients get the body they want through the easiest, fastest, and safest programs possible while having fun. He has over 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry and attended State University of New York at Old Westbury. Dan is a veteran US Naval Nuclear Electronics Technician and former Video Game Designer. He specializes in body fat reduction, integrated flexibility, and strength conditioning. He combines humor with education and precise instruction.