When you go to yoga or a massage, or even when you watch a stretching video on YouTube, you’ll probably hear the term myosfacial release. Today, we’re taking the mystery out of this term, discussing what it is, how to do it, and why the new TRX Rocker is a major development for myofascial release at home.
How do you pronounce myofascial?
So glad you asked! That would be my-o-FASH-e-ul. Don’t you sound smart now?
What is myofascial tissue?
Mayo Clinic describes myofascial tissue as “the tough membranes that wrap, connect and support your muscles.”
Photo: Scott Webb on Unsplash
What causes myofascial pain?
There’s not just one source. Mayo Clinic explains that “myofascial pain differs from other types of pain because it originates in ‘trigger points,’ which are related to stiff, anchored areas within the myofascial tissue.” But that trigger point can be tough to find. WedMD adds, “myofascial pain may develop from a muscle injury or from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament or tendon.” Other causes can include injury to muscle fibers, repetitive motions, and a lack of activity.
The pain from delayed onset muscle soreness can result in myofascial trigger points. There’s also a chronic version of this type of pain, called Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
What is myofascial release?
Dr. Garry Ho, director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s sports medicine fellowship program, tells U.S. News & World Report that myofascial release means different things to different people, but it usually involves applying pressure via massage or a foam roller to tight muscles and fascia in an effort to get them to “release” and alleviate pain.
What tools are used in myofascial release?
Much like the definition of myofascial release can vary from person to person, the tools involved in the process can also change. A massage therapist may use her handles, heels, knees, or elbows to release a client’s trigger point. People who do their own myofascial release work might use a tennis ball or a foam roller. Recently, TRX released a new tool, the TRX Rocker, as an alternative to the traditional foam roller. The Rocker has three contact points: a low intensity, lightly-grooved side for more gentle massage, a medium intensity, more deeply-grooved side for deeper release, and the apex of the two sides, for high-intensity target areas.
How often should I use the TRX Rocker for myofascial release?
There’s not a specific, prescribed time among fitness and wellness professional. According to a study published in Frontiers in Physiology, foam rolling has become a popular intervention in sports settings because it’s “thought to improve muscular performance and flexibility as well as to alleviate muscle fatigue and soreness.”
While the researchers behind the study note their results are not conclusive, they believe that pre-rolling before a workout is an effective strategy for short-term improvements in flexibility without decreasing muscle performance. The review also showed improvements of sprint performance and recovery rates among athletes who pre-rolled.
Most professionals recommend about 3-5 minutes of foam rolling, 2-3 times each week.
Now that you’re an expert in myofascial release, it’s time to score the best tools to help your body move and feel better. With the TRX Rocker, you get a three-in-one alternative to foam rolling that can help you quickly treat trigger points and take your fitness to the next level.
Lede image photo by Kamil S on Unsplash