Foam Rolling (Upper Body Series)

Foam rolling, also known as “self-myofascial release,” is a wonderful technique to help your body move freely again. In other words, self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage designed to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This technique can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, golf ball, theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body, you can aid the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. This means getting your muscles healthy, elastic, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. I’ve witnessed great results with individuals experiencing knee, shoulder, back, or sciatic pain just by using this simple method.

General Guidelines to keep in mind when foam rolling:

1. Hold each position for 1-2 minutes on each side (when applicable).

2. If pain is restored, stop rolling and REST on the painful areas for 30-45 seconds.

3. Maintain the proper Draw-In position, which provides stability to the back and hips during rolling.

4. You can perform foam rolling 1 to 2 times daily.

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Mid Back (Rhomboids): Cross arms to the opposite shoulder to clear the shoulder blades across the thoracic wall. While maintaining abdominal draw-In position, raise hips until unsupported. Also stabilize the head in “neutral.” Roll mid-back area on the foam.

Lats & Rotator Cuffs: Position yourself side lying with arm out stretched and foam roll placed in axillary area. Thumb is pointed up to pre-stretch the latissimus dorsi muscle. Movement during the technique in minimal.

Chest & Front of Shoulder: Lie facedown on the floor and place the foam roller under the front of the shoulder. The roller should align vertically with your torso. Allow your weight to surrender into the roller as you move right and left to massage the entire front of the shoulder and chest; you might even go down the bicep for an extra release. Keep rolling for up to 60 seconds.

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