STOP FOAM ROLLING!
Here are my thoughts on foam rolling over the last few years knowing what I know about the brain and the nervous system. If you need to take 15 to 45 minutes to foam roll just to work out you have a problem. There is no need to foam roll for that long to get ready to work out. Let’s think about this. Why would you foam roll and release and relax all of those tight muscles before a big lift? Don’t you want all your muscles strong, stable and activated before a big lift? So why would you foam roll to loosen and relax all that? The other question is why are all those muscles tight and what are they supporting? If you release and loosen all of those muscles that feel tight you could be potential destabilizing an entire kinetic chain! Do you really want to do that before a max snatch? Instead, work on mobility using loaded mobility drills. I believe the best bang for your buck would be moving dynamically loading all the tissues and joints and performing loaded mobility. Loaded mobility drills are great because you can activate and prime the nervous system, get the joint proprioceptor‘s activated and move through the entire range of motion with a load. Studies have found this more beneficial than foam rolling and stretching prior to lifting. We already know that you can’t stretch fascia because it takes at least 1000 lbs of force to distract fascia. Really think your going to do that to your ITB! Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release so foam rolling your ITB won’t get you anywhere. Instead why don’t you find out WHY you feel the need to smash the foam roller to your ITB! If it’s tight there’s a reason why. The work that I do revolves around performing functional neurological muscle testing to determine exactly which muscles need to be released and not just randomly releasing stuff. Everybody is different and needs to be treated that way.
I believe the same principals apply to static stretching. Again why would you relax those muscles that need to be activated to support and heavy load? Any gains you achieve will just be temporary.
People ask me all the time what do I do? In a nutshell I am using a form of functional muscle testing to assess the connectivity in the nervous system. When movement glitches come up, we can assess the system to decrease the hypersensitivity. This will result in stability and increasing strength and mobility all while reducing or eliminating your pain. You will then be given specific exercises to perform at home to encourage the nervous system to appreciate the new found movement! Yes I have been told its weird, but its only weird because not too many people are doing this! I like to be weird and different, its what makes you stand out! It is what keeps me busy in my practice as I typically get people who are at the end of their rope and need help. Muscle testing is gentle, not a arm wresting match, it doesn’t hurt and the releases are typically gentle (to allow the nervous system to respond). I have realized over the years that smashing tissue got me nowhere! You can’t smash it into cooperation! You need to be gentle with it. One of my colleagues said it perfectly. If a baby is crying, are you going to yell at it to calm it down? NO, your going to do soothing things to it to calm it down. The body is no different. So be aware of anyone who is still beating the crap out of you with deep tissue, dry needling, foam rolling whatever else people tell you to smash!
I am still actively looking for people who WANT to get better and will put in the work to help themselves. This is not a passive treatment! I don’t fix you, I give you the tools to help yourself, coupled with the drills and movement therapy you will need to get stronger. Some people only need 1 or 2 sessions and some require more due to the extensive nature of their history. It can be pricey I know but living a life of not being healthy is more expensive in the long run. I once had a client who spent over $800 on Physical Therapy that didn’t help at all and came to me once for 1 session and was back to normal. I hear all the time why am I more expensive than other massage therapists? Well for one, I’m not other massage therapists and I am really trying to move away from calling myself a massage therapist because I’m more than that. I like to look at myself more as a movement therapist.