I have been doing a lot of research lately on foam rolling and postural analysis and I am impressed with the benefits that i have discovered. It would be very difficult for me to judge any individuals deviations without putting them through postural assessments such as overhead squat assessment and single leg squat assessment however, the purpose of this thread is to inform about the benefits that foam rolling aka self myofascial release aka autogenic inhibition. I will start off this thread with a simple definition of movement and hope that those who read will be more conscious of their own possible deviations and ways to improve.
The first thing to understand is movement. Movement is the means by which we are able to perform all activities. Understanding normal movement allows us to determine abnormal movement which occur through muscle imbalances. Movement represents the functionality of many systems, primarily the nervous system, muscular system, and articular system. Through factors such as stress, trauma and disease, dysfunction can occur in one or more of these systems. The result is dysfunction, ultimately injury. As bodybuilders, the last thing we want is an injury holding us back. That being said I can assure you, that everyone reading this has some sort of deviation in their movement that could use improvement.
Many people refer to foam rolling as a deep tissue massage that you give yourself but there is much more to it. I would like to provide an example:
.....An individual is assessed through an overhead squat assessment. During this assessment it is found that the individuals feet turn out (external rotation) during the movement and his heels lift off the ground during the movement as well. Just by seeing this, you can have a good idea of muscular deviations.
Possible overactive muscles
.....Lateral head of Gastrocnemius, soleus, short head of bicep femoris, and TFL.
Possible underactive muscles
.....Medial head of gastrocnemius, Semi membranosous, gracilis, popliteus, glute medius, and glute maximus.
So what to do next?
By foam rolling the overactive muscles you stimulate the golgi tendon organ and consequently decrease stimulus to the muscle spindle mechanoreceptors. When done consistently, muscles begin to balance out and work together to perform a movement more efficiently. Exercises to stimulate the weaker muscles will obviously have to be incorporated. When a movement is performed more efficiently, the result will be greater gains and more balanced gains.
Again, this is something difficult to assess on yourself. I will try to post up some pics that show what normal movement is so you can better understand abnormal movement and where your own deviations are. I have recently been working on this after I discovered that my hamstrings and a dominant muscle and my glutes lack stimulation. Through autogenic inhibition combined with glute stimulating exercises, I am now hitting my glutes harder and using them more than ever.
*I pulled this information from recent seminars and classes that I have attended. I give credit to the direct source only to my knowledge, Mike Akana- MS physiology, NASM-CPT,SFS,PES,CES*
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