Time after time, I’m asked by very fit, often competitive people why, before we train, they need to start with myofascial release (a sort of soft-tissue release that involves foam rolling).
They’re athletic. They’re lean, strong, and often quite knowledgeable about the what, where and how. But they don’t understand why they need to take this extra step.
Quite simply, if the body’s soft tissues (muscles, connective tissue) are not being systematically re-set while one is participating in a training program, one’s body will eventually develop imbalances and head towards the injury state. A top athlete won’t remain top for much longer after that.
Starting a training session with myofascial release makes the best use of time and allows for the establishment of optimal movement patterns, that enables muscle trains to develop in a balanced, harmonious fashion. Unlike stretching, it frees up muscle fibers that are stuck together and helps break cycles of hyperactivity or triggers in a muscle. As a result, more muscle can be recruited during a training session. More muscle recruitment means lifting more weight, burning more calories and moving more efficiently.
Simply put, myofascial release not only helps prevent injury, but it also allows people to break personal records and conquer new hurdles. Not that an exerciser or athlete can’t make strides without doing foam rolling, etcetera. However, many athletes and exercisers struggle to create sufficient time outside of training to care for tight, stressed (often overstressed) muscles.
Making myofascial release a mandatory first part of the workout is an easy first step to help raise awareness and guard against total neglect. Without consistent care for the muscles that move you, it’s impossible to discover how good you can be. Discover the winner within!