Increases amplitude and reduces tension
Myofascial release exercises or techniques are aimed at stimulating the connective tissues that normally suffer from excessive muscle and fascial stiffness or tension. They will help you increase circulation, reduce myofascial tone, increase joint mobility and prepare the muscle for a subsequent effort, among other objectives. In the Low Pressure Fitness training system we include self-myofascial release exercises as an initial part of the sessions. Also as a therapy technique for those who require it prior to specific Low Pressure Fitness training.
We will favour adequate body preparation for the main part of the session and we will increase joint mobility to improve the placement and execution of the postures. In the following article we show you four basic myofascial self-release exercises according to body position to perform with the small balls or inhibition balls and the Low Pressure Fitness wood-roller.
A simple way to assess the inhibitory effect of myofascial tension exerted by this type of exercise is to perform the Toe Touch flexibility test, which consists of trying to touch your feet. Standing up, let your body slowly descend towards the ground as if you wanted to touch it with your fingers, avoiding bending your knees. If you have little flexibility or a lot of muscular rigidity, you will probably not reach the ground with your fingers. Evaluate how far you are from the ground and perceive what bodily sensations you feel. Remember it because at the end of the sequence you will repeat it again to verify if you have managed to reduce that distance or the sensations of tension.
The weight of your body will be the stimulus that will affect the reach of a greater or lesser depth in the pressure zone. For this reason, we recommend always starting with less pressure and with softer materials, such as the small ball, and then progressing to harder materials such as the wood-roller or the inhibition balls, as well as increasing the depth of the self-massage.
he time to remain in each position will vary according to your own level and the time each zone requires to achieve inhibition. As a general rule, we suggest starting withholding each position for one to two minutes until you progress to three minutes per body area.
- Myofascial self-release while standing plantar myofascial exercise:
We begin by standing up, performing a self-massage exercise on the sole of the foot with a small ball. It will help you reduce the tension of the plantar fascia helping to improve ankle mobility. Place the ball on the plantar surface and slowly roll your foot against the ball until you reach your heel. Perform several repetitions progressively increasing the pressure during the sliding phase on the ball.
2. Self-myofascial release in the lateral position:
In a lateral decubitus position, support the forearm on the ground to help mobilize and reduce the weight of the body on the ball. Place a small ball on the lateral hip area just behind the greater trochanter. Look for the inclination or position in which it produces the greatest sensations without causing excessive discomfort. From that position, perform a smooth gliding motion with your pelvis in a reverse U-shape. The pressure will be progressive as you repeat the rolling movements with the ball on the hip rotator muscles. Repeat on the other side of the hip. This self-massage will help release and/or relax the piriformis muscle and the deep/superficial peri trochanteric muscles. In addition, it will provide you with great relaxation in the gluteal area, extending to the lower back. It is an exercise frequently recommended in people with the pyramidal syndrome.
3. Self-myofascial release in the prone position:
Now lie on your stomach placing a small ball at the distal and proximal insertion of the rectus abdominis, i.e. just above the pubis and below the xiphoid process. Without dropping all your body weight on the balls, breathe abdominally. This exercise will help reduce tension in the rectus abdominis to aid in the subsequent opening and mobility of the ribs required during some Low-Pressure Fitness exercises. Sometimes there is a lot of rigidity in the anterior abdominal face and this will not allow adequate mobility of the rib cage.
4. Self-myofascial release in the prone position:
Finally, lie on your back with the wood-roller placed just above your cervical curvature as if it were a pillow. Let your head rest and sFinally, lie on your back with the wood-roller placed just above your cervical curvature as if it were a pillow. Let your head rest and settle into the half arch formed by the wooden roller. Stay in that position for a minute, breathing slowly and deeply. Then roll your head during the respiratory expiration phase to the right and to the left, applying slight pressure on the roller.
At the end of this exercise sequence, reassess your overall extensibility with the initial Toe Touch test. Compare the sensations and mobility with those perceived prior to the exercises. You will surely be able to reach the ground more easily than at the beginning of the session and feel less tension in the dorsal area of the spine and leg.