Archive for July, 2011

 

Kinetic Chain

The kinetic chain is made up of the soft tissue system (muscle, tendon, ligament, and fascia), neural system (nerves and CNS), and articular system (joints).  The kinetic chain works as an integrated functional unit.  All components of the kinetic chain exist interdependently.  If one segment is not functioning efficiently, then the other components must compensate, leading to tissue overload, fatigue, faulty movement patterns, and finally initiates the Cumulative Injury Cycle.  For example, muscle tightness restricts the range of motion that a joint may be moved.  Because of muscle restriction (tightness, soft tissue adhesions, and neural-hyperactivity), joint motion is altered, thus changing normal neural feedback to the CNS (central nervous system).  Ultimately, neuromuscular efficiency is compromised, which leads to poor movement patterns, inducing premature fatigue and causing injury.  A SMFR (Self-Myofascial Release) Program, along with Functional Strength Training and Cardiovascular Endurance improves muscular balance and overall performance.

Benefits
  •  Improves flexibility/joint range of motion
  • Corrects muscle imbalances
  • Reduces muscle soreness & relieves joint stress
  •  Decreases neuromuscular hypertonicity (overactivity/stiffness)
  • Improves neuromuscular efficiency (the ability of the kinetic chain to work synergistically as an integrated unit)
  •  Cost Savings ($25-40 or $60-75 for a massage therapist, although I recommend seeing a massage therapist regularly)

How do you do it?

To perform foam rolling you simply position a muscle on the roller and use your own body weight to apply pressure into the roller looking for tender spots. When a tender spot is noted just hold on that spot until the tenderness decreases by at least 50% – 70%. The knots or adhesions (that cause the tenderness) won’t just disappear, they will travel to different spots of the area you are working on, so be sure to scan the rest of the area you are working on to find where the knots and adhesions moved to. You can perform this on all the muscles of your body with the exception of directly on your neck and lower back.

When Should You Foam Roll?

Although you can perform the technique after a workout, it is best to Foam roll as part of your warm up (pre-exercise) before any kind of static (reach and hold) or dynamic (active/moving) flexibility work, as well as on your off days to help aid in recovery. You should perform you foam rolling work first because you will be freeing up your muscles allowing for better range of motion during your static or dynamic flexibility work, as well as prepping your body for more intense activity.