Rolling – not as trivial as it seems

Fitness has been dominating the list of fitness trends for several years. Foam roller has become a symbol of conscious training, taking into account the mobility slogan, which is equally eager to cast . Unfortunately, consciousness does not follow consciousness - the vast majority of people are not able to answer specifically what is rolling about, not to mention the explanation of mechanisms stimulated by this procedure or the appropriate technique.

To start properly, you should start by realizing how it works at all. The mechanism of activity is basically the same as in massage - you can easily synonymize rolling with automasage. It is a mistake, however, to think that pressure directly affects the relaxation of the muscle. The nervous system is responsible for the effect of any massage. Adequate pressures are able to regulate nerve impulse in the direction of muscle relaxation, and it is the neural response to rolling that is mainly responsible for its effectiveness. It allows to increase its elasticity, promote the range of movements in nearby joints, it can also reduce the pain symptoms caused by persistent excessive tension.

A significant (although not critical to the musculoskeletal system) is also a reaction from the circulatory system. The massage increases the local blood supply of tissues, which helps to get rid of acid metabolites and facilitates post-workout regeneration . The promotion of blood transport to skeletal muscles is associated with their increased nutrition, which facilitates the regeneration of tired muscle fibers.

Some sources also indicate the effectiveness of rolling resulting from the stimulation of the fascial system. This is a good trail, massage undoubtedly has a positive effect on the functioning of the fascia, although this component of rolling efficiency is slightly overestimated. We must be aware that the strength of auto-massage may often be insufficient to achieve significant fascial results. However, this does not change the fact that the improvement of fascial functionality has a positive effect on their optimal mobility.

Along with the growing popularity of rolling, there were a lot of accessories used on the market. As in any fashion, here too, most of them are created only to increase the profits of producers. In order to work effectively on the myofascial system, one or two rollers are enough (depending on the purpose for which we will be rolling, what's next) and a massage ball for more difficult places. However, it does not make sense to overpay even for these accessories. We can effectively roll up even with a PVC pipe and a tennis ball.

The main aspect that differs from this category is their hardness. This is a significant feature, because too hard a roller or ball will generate too much pain stimuli, which in turn will endure the effectiveness of rolling. We should be able to roll in the limits of tolerable pain - too much intensity will cause the muscle's reflex tension in the defense reaction, which will completely ruin the effects of work. It is worth starting with a soft or medium-hard roller.

Is it worth paying extra for high-quality rollers?

In my opinion no.

More expensive rollers generally differ only by the producer's brand and its promises. Perhaps with very intense use (eg in fitness clubs) in fact, differences in the quality of production are noticeable. For individual use, however, I think that the cheapest roller with the right hardness will be enough .

The most important feature of rollers and balls to pay attention to is their structure. It is popular to prefer rollers with protrusions, because they have to go deeper into the muscle. This is an unsupported statement, and the actual state of affairs looks exactly the opposite. The grooves on the surface of the roller increase the pain stimulus generated by it, reducing the efficiency of the automatic massage. In order to relax the muscle, rollers with a flat surface are definitely more recommended . The strength of the stimulus can be effectively increased by the hardness of the roller.

This does not mean, however, that rollers with uneven structure do not apply. They are a great pre-workout solution used to stimulate the muscle. They act strongly stimulus, increasing nervous impulse in the developed area and promoting its blood supply, and thus nourishment, preparing the muscles to take intense physical effort.

This question is still in the discussion, it is difficult to define an unambiguous rolling instruction.

However, several universal facts can be stated. First of all, it's very slow to roll over to loosen up. Commonly too fast movements are encountered that prevent accurate, effective stimulation of a given place. Proper work is slow, long, sometimes even monotonous. Theoretically (it is not always possible in practice) it is recommended to roll until you feel relief, which is probably not faster than after a few minutes. The high speed of the roller shutter may apply only before training. Secondly, the adopted position should allow for the relaxation of a maximum of many muscles, which translates into a state of tension in the place being developed. Thirdly, a painful dose should be sensibly administered. It can not exceed the comfort limit so that it does not get the reflexive defensive muscle tone. For this purpose, we should not only choose the shaft wisely, but also sensibly dose the stimulus force by applying pressure to the roller/ball (which in turn can be very effectively modified by body positions).

Rolling - summary

Rolling is a very good trend, promoting a broader, comprehensive view of training, which translates into better functioning of the human movement organ. However, this is not as trivial as it seems. It's worth delving into the subject a bit, so that you can do it consciously and effectively. A well-made auto massage can be a great remedy for minor pain caused by excessive tension of specific muscles and an effective way to improve the quality of movement.

Tags: roller, rolling, training

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