THE DAY AFTER THE TURKEY TROT Many went out to run or walk a Turkey Trot yesterday, if statistics from past years on finishers accurately predicted the numbers for 2017. Some who ran or walked may not have trained for the annual event. They joined in the fun and got it done, but may be experiencing some soreness today. The runners in the family will know that foam rolling might be able to ease some of the soft tissue tightness and soreness.
Why not pass along your expert knowledge and show those in need how to perform the moves? Organize a group session and have some fun with learning. If there isn’t a roller on the premises, make a run to the local sports store. Maybe there will be Black Friday deals!
Below is a post from December 2016, which featured an article that explained the scientific principle behind the practice in easy to understand terms. At the time, and now, I hadn’t been able to identify scientific journal articles on which the explanation is based.
This year I located another online item."The Science Behind Foam Rolling" from o2fitnessclubs.com that explains this aspect of foam rolling more completely and in much greater detail. It’s a great piece! The author is not identified and there are no references. But, the item does have the ring of science, reinforces my understanding of muscle as a tissue and explains the role of the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) within in the fascia in muscle relaxation.
The point to be taken, per the blog, is that “foam rolling activates the GTO, resulting in release of muscular tension” “It also ‘stirs’ the connective tissue, or fascia, making it more fluid and mobile.”
There’s no possibility I could improve on this explanation, Possibly, it was written by a muscle or exercise physiologist. Those who love science will want to read it in full.
Without references, it will be passed on for you to read. I’m not an expert in this area; please comment if you are and add to our understanding!
The Runner’s World article, “The Truth About Foam Rolling. It works but not for the reason you think” by Michael Easter for Men’s Health (it first appeared there), begins by saying that many “believe that foam rolling works by steamrolling your muscles, breaking up scar tissues and lengthening the muscle tissue.” That caught my attention. Guilty.
Doug Kechijian, a doctor of physical therapy at Peak Performance in New York City was interviewed by the author in this piece. He explains that foam rolling doesn’t physically alter the muscle, but rather works by signaling to the nervous system that it’s OK to allow tight muscles to relax.
I did not see a reference provided for this particular view and could not locate one readily in the scientific literature. However, studies which demonstrated benefits to foam rolling before or after runs or intense workouts are mentioned. If you were waiting for a convincing reason to start rolling, Easter provides easy-to-understand information on the topic that might do the trick.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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