What is SMFR? Self Myofascial Release is a quick and relatively easy way to immediately improve range of motion (ROM) through soft tissue. See what we’re talking about here.
SMFR works on the same principles as a manual therapist would use for muscle spasm, adhesions, or fascial restriction causing tightness. You tend to get more “bang for your buck” in invested time and increased ROM as compared to Static Stretching. Foam Rolling (with a foam roller like this one) should not replace static stretching, but used in conjunction with, especially in dealing with problematic muscles. (i.e. very tight or recovering muscles)
In cases of power or heavy strength workouts, static stretching has been shown to be counterproductive and decrease power production. So SMFR would be the best choice in conjunction with a good warm-up protocol including a thorough dynamic warm up. Never the less, static stretching should still be done, when coping with very tight muscle groups.
Who should not do SMFR? Contraindications for certain conditions!
There are some conditions that are contraindicated to doing SMFR, they include but are not limited to: organ failure, bleeding disorders, malignancy, aneurysm, acute rheumatoid arthritis, advanced diabetes, severe osteoporosis, and healing fractures. (2) Your physician and physical therapist can help determine whether or not SMFR is an appropriate course of treatment for you.