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Refining Self Administered Release Technique Foam Roll Technique

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The Refining Self- Administered Release Technique (RSART) Foam Roll Technique is a powerful, self-administered soft tissue release technique. This technique involves rolling certain body areas with a foam roller or other cylindrical object to produce a massage-like effect. The tissue is gently stretched, releases tension, and mobilizes soft tissues of the body. The benefits of RSART Foam Roll Technique include improved flexibility, range of motion, and decreased muscle soreness. This technique

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Transcript

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This is Brent and in this video we're
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discussing how to refine our
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self-administered release, or foam roll techniques. You could also look at it
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another way, we'll take a little slanted view of this, where we're looking at the
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six most common mistakes I see in the gym that are preventing people from
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getting the most out of their foam roll techniques. I'm going to have my friend,
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Leanne, come out. She's going to help me demonstrate some of these mistakes. Now,
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first things first, Leanne, let's have you do a rectus femoris release. How many
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of you have told a patient or a client to go ahead and foam roll the
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front of their quads, and you've walked out to this. Some sort of al dente noodle
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position, that is probably not exactly what you showed them, but it's kind of
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funny, I don't see trainers or therapists spend as much time talking about form
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here as we do in resistance training. We're great when it comes to resistance
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training and exercise, and somehow we haven't thought to bring that same
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queueing, that same discussion, to our self administered release techniques. So, if I
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bring back my kinetic chain checkpoints, I want her head and shoulders back, hips
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knees and feet all in alignment. I'm going to have her get her belly off the floor and
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drawn-in for me, make sure her shoulder girdle is nice and stable, her head is
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facing down so that her spine's in alignment. Her hips, knees, and
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feet are in line. She should be relaxed here, obviously, because that's what we're
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releasing. So just to kind of recap, that form that you know of, that you
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apply to every exercise you do, bring it here too. Next thing I want to talk about
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is what we're going after. We're going after the most tender point.
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Trigger points and tender points are generally what self-administered release
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targets. There's a lot of other talk about fascia, and different things that
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happen within a muscle like scar tissue, but probably the biggest benefit we're
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going to get is going after these trigger points. Now, trigger points have a
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tendency to develop right where the nerve innervates the muscle, which
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generally is in the middle of the muscle belly. However, there will be
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tender points throughout the muscle. You generally have one big trigger point, and
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then all of these phantom sites. They're not actual trigger points that need to be
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released though. So if you start just going after every point, you're really
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not going to get that big of a result. So I like to go and do something called
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Search and Destroy. So, I'm going to have Leanne go from the top of her rectus
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femoris, all the way to the bottom, nice and slow. She'll find the most tender
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point, and when she's found that most tender point she's going to hold it. So
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not going after those phantom sites, or the referral sites, we want to go after
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that most tender point, and you'll even see that some of the other sites totally
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disappear once we get a release here. Now, the next thing I see, we should be doing
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static holds. I know the more popular thing to do, go ahead and demonstrate
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this Leanne, is to roll back and forth. Rolling back and forth, there's no real
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physiological model why that would work long-term. There's no real idea
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of what that's doing to the muscle that would improve movement patterns over the
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long haul. So, what we want to do is find the most tender point, hold it, it's this
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holding that stimulates one of two things. Either we're getting ischemic
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pressure and we're cutting off circulation very locally to try to drive
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down activity in that area, or we're trying to get something called autogenic
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inhibition. Now, autogenic inhibition happens with these slow adapting
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receptors like your Golgi tendon organ, and the only reason that that slow
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adaptation is important is to know that your muscle spindles are fast adapting.
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So, by rolling back and forth, you're stimulating muscle spindles which is
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going to increase activity and override autogenic inhibition, as opposed to
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holding it, which is going to allow these slow adapting receptors to respond and
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relax this overactive point within a muscle.
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So, just to kind of recap here, we have her in good position, she's
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on the most tender point, and now she's going to hold until she gets a release.
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That should take somewhere between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. The next point
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is something that we all kind of do especially when there's pain
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involved, is we do this guarding thing. I know a lot of you guys have probably
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heard of muscle guarding. Leanne's going to go into a
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different technique here. We're going to do our calf roll. So, just to review, she's
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going to go along the whole length of the muscle, search for that most tender
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point, once she finds that most tender point she's going to hold it with
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good posture. Alright, so one thing Leanne might do, is if this is really
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painful for her, she might start clenching that muscle, start clenching her calf a
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little bit to try to protect. I don't want that to happen though. I want to be
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able to get pressure so that I stimulate those those receptors and get autogenic
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inhibition. So, I can do one of two things. Either I can use reciprocal inhibition,
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contract my antagonist and then relax. The way I would do that with the calf is
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have Leanne dorsiflex, hold, and then relax. Did you have an increase in discomfort?
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Chances are if there was an increase in discomfort, you were doing a little bit
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of muscle guarding. The other thing you can do is make somebody very aware of
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their muscle guarding by having them contract the muscle that you're working
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with. So she could plantar flex in this case because we're doing calf,
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and then relax. Either technique seems to work, you may have to try both to figure
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out which one's the most effective for the patient or the client that you're
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working with, but it is always worth checking to make sure that they aren't
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muscle guarding, because if somebody is bound up and clenching, there's no way
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they're going to get this release to happen, there's no way we're going to
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get this long term effect. The next thing is pressure, foam rolls have a very large
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area. I know this is a little physics, a little bit of math, and I know
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not everybody likes math, but a really simple formula here is pressure equals
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force times area. So, when we have an inverse relationship,
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when the bottom number decreases, the number on the other side of the
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equation increases. So the smaller the area is, the larger the pressure. Foam
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rolls are very large as far as the amount of area. This is several
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square inches. If this wasn't enough pressure for Leanne, she wasn't feeling
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anything, I could certainly progress her release techniques. There's nothing
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special about a foam roll. So, I could bring a medicine ball in. So now
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we went from an area about this big, to an area about this big, just the top of the
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medicine ball. If that wasn't enough pressure, we could go to something like a
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softball. Now, this is this is a softee, or training softball, it has a little bit of
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give to it. The the softballs that you actually play softball with are actually
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so hard they're kind of mean, but I do like these a lot, they work quite well.
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Alright, so now we've decreased the area to increase pressure. Similarly, if
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something was too painful, you could go in the opposite direction. So, if you were
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using a softball and somebody's clenching and they won't let go, they
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keep guarding, you can't get them to stop guarding, go back to your medicine ball
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and then back to a foam roll if you have to to get them to relax. If there's no
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relaxation, there's no long-term benefit. The last thing I want to discuss is
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probably the most important, and I have to thank my friend Perry of the company,
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Stop Chasing Pain, for giving me this quote, his whole company is based around
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education around this point, but we're not going after just painful spots, this
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is actually, in a way, dangerous to start chasing pain around the body.
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Unfortunately pain is only a clue, but not a really great indicator of what's
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actually wrong. For example, Leanne's foam rolling her low back, let's say you
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had low back pain, the problem with foam rolling the low back is it's not the
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structures in the posterior aspect of the lumbar spine that are probably
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causing pain. In fact, it's far more likely that it's the hip
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flexors causing pain. So if she wants relief here, if we had done an assessment,
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we would probably know that she'd be better off doing her rectus femoris ,TFL,
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vastus lateralis, and adductors, as opposed to trying to foam roll her
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lumbar spine, which actually in this position is kind of dangerous. Not only
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are we not going to get a result, but it could push her lumbar vertebrae
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anteriorly. There's not a lot to stop that and over time we could create a
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whole different set of compensations and maybe even some damage to the
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ligamentous structures in her lumbar spine. Every time we use a foam roll, we
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should be basing it on some sort of dynamic movement assessment, and for
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those of you qualified, probably some other goniometry or flexibility
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assessments so that we're only targeting structures that are short and overactive.
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Remember, foam rolling is going to reduce activity. If we start using it on muscles
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that are already under active, it's only going to make our compensation patterns
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worse. So, just to quickly go over what we just went over... make sure you watch
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your position, go over the most tender point, hold statically, try to prevent
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muscle guarding, use the appropriate amount of pressure by adjusting area, and
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only go after those structures that are short and overactive, not just painful.