Olympic Weightlifting Resource

Self Myofascial Release Technique
One restorative method that a trainee can use is Self Myofascial Release (SMR). By using SMR a trainee can help improve their recovery time at home. SMR is a relatively simple technique and anyone can experience the benefits from it, even couch potatoes!

By incorporating SMR into a routine an individual can improve flexibility, function, reduce potential injuries, and improve performance. SMR is simply a person using their body weight to roll around on a foam roller and this action will massage the soft tissue. SMR will help reduce adhesions and scar tissue that is already present and help prevent them if done daily. Since everyone cannot afford Active Release Therapy (ART), SMR can provide some of the benefits at a cheaper cost from home. All you have to do is purchase a foam roller! To reiterate the benefits of incorporating SMR

Benefits
Helps correct muscular imbalances
Decreases Soreness and Joint Stress
Helps increase joint Range of Motion (ROM)
Helps maintain normal muscle length

To see these benefits you must incorporate SMR daily and stick with it.

Self Myofascial Release relies on a principle called autogenic inhibition. The Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) is located at the muscle tendon junction. The GTO is sensitive to changes in muscle tension. When there is enough tension to cause injury the GTO will signal the muscle spindles to relax. This process is called autogenic inhibition. With foam rolling you allow the muscle to passively stretch and it also causes the GTO to relax.

General Techniques
1. Hold the position for 1-2 minutes on each side
2. If you experience pain in one spot, stop rolling and rest on the area for about 30-45 seconds. Do not continue to roll if you feel pain/tenderness on an area! Hold it for 30-45 seconds! Again this is important.
3. If you need more weight on a limb you can stack limbs on top of each other.
4. You can perform SMR everyday either once or twice a day.

From my experience SMR does help. I recommend it to anyone who wants improved recovery and flexibility. You will feel some pain, but eventually when you iron out the kinks you will notice less tightness in your muscles and will feel better throughout the day. I'm glad I was introduced to SMR it was one of the best decisions I've made when it comes to recovery and flexibility maintenance.

It's well worth the 10-25 bucks you will spend on a foam roller! There are various kinds of foam rollers too. Usually the higher the price the roller the longer it will last. For example, a 32 dollar roller will last roughly 5 times as long as a standard white roller because the 32 dollar roller has a pvc pipe in the middle and the foam is denser material. You should notice improvements in muscle tension and flexibility in as little as 1-2 weeks if SMR is incorporated daily or at least after workouts.