Why spend so long on a roller?

I often get asked about the best way to "roll out" on a roller.

I use a roller to help your myofascial system - and that can affect the articular system (your joints), the neural system (your CNS, nerves and coordination), the visceral system (your internal organs and vessels), your technique and even how you perceive yourself.

But a "rolling out" is only good if your myofascial system is the main problem. If your myofascial system is responding to a stiff joint or irritated nerves or poor technique, you will find you can roll out for 30mins and not get anywhere.

The classic example is the ITB - it is often blamed for so many problems - along with the TFL. But the poor ITB is a passive structure. It merely pulls based on the sum of the forces acting on it. 80% of the Glute Max goes into the ITB! People spend AGES rolling out their ITB when they need their Glute max to work better or release the posterior hip capsule.

Some Rules to Use:

  1. Antony's 30secs rule - if it hasn't helped in 30secs on a test/retest, then it probably won't really help much - do something else!
  2. If it is painful and the pain doesn't change, it is protecting something - go find what that is and solve the problem and the tension will go down!!
  3. If a therapist can prove that it requires breaking down of scar tissue, then you may need to go through a bit of discomfort. If things don't really improve over time (you aren't getting more flexible or you have to keep doing it or you will tighten up), then the diagnosis is probably wrong and the myofascial system is reacting to another problem...
  4. Rolling out gives you a window of opportunity to learn new movement techniques, increase stability and strengthen motor patterns. Take the opportunity you have just created!

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