Constantly feel tight in your muscles? Try foam rolling and trigger point release!

Constantly feel tight in your muscles? Try foam rolling and trigger point release!

Hi, my muscles feel really tight over my back after my gym session last week. I don’t feel comfortable working out as I feel like it may snap if I continue to exercise…

We have heard many cases about muscle tightness and how it stops some people from doing their favourite sports. Is there anything that you can do to relief that? If you answer is only stretching, you are missing out on something better that can potentially help you.

Foam rolling is a type of self massage that allows you to alleviate tightness and trigger points – a focused spot in your muscles that is tighter, a.k.a. trigger points – by using a tool called as the foam roller. It is different from stretching. Let me give you an example:

Imagine tying a knot in the middle of a rope and pulling the rope from both ends. You will see a lengthening of the rope, but the knot in the middle is not released. Foam rolling is using an object and pressing directly on the knot and working on release it. Therefore it is very suitable if you have muscle knots that are especially hard to stretch out.

Why do we love foam rolling?

There are many benefits to foam rolling, below are a few of our favourites:

  1. Alleviates soreness
  2. Promotes recovery process after a workout session (promotes hydration of soft tissues)
  3. Improves blood flow to the muscle tissues and fascia – the body’s connective tissue – which helps to improve muscle tightness and increase the joint’s range of motion.
  4. Promotes relaxation

How do you foam roll?

There are 3 main methods:

  1. Roll and Hold (RH) – Roll along the length of tissue and hold for about 20 seconds on the most tender spot you find and relax the muscle into the hold.
  2. Pin and Move (PM) – Hold a pressure point and move the joint, creating muscular motion over the pressure point.
  3. Cross-fiber (CF) – Massage perpendicular to the direction the muscle tissue runs.

Our therapists suggest that you start with light pressure and slowly build up as your body warms up to the pressure. You may adjust the pressure by using your arms to push up for support. Start with 10 seconds and as you warm up, work up to 30-60 seconds at a time. Remember to also drink plenty of water to help with tissue hydration.

In conclusion, it is good to foam roll 3-4 times a week, especially if you work out regularly. If you are unsure and want to consult our therapist, feel free to reach out to us!