The neccessity of stretching: Myofascial release and The Rumble Roller

trigger pointTwo of my most used pieces of gym equipment that I alternate daily are the Rumble Roller and Trigger Point® Myofascial Compression™ Kit. Those of you doing P90X2 are familiar with the Rumble Roller Tony Horton brought into the public eye.

The concept of Myofascial Release is to increase flexibility by the general decrease of muscular adhesions (knots). This increases athletic performance and helps prevent athletic injury.

Let’s say my Achilles is stiff and hurts when I walk. This Achilles Tendinitis is most frequently associated with tight calf muscles. So the key is to stretch and SMR (Self Myofascial Release). After doing some basic calf stretches, I’ll go into SMR.

foam rollers

How To: Rumble Roller

While sitting on the floor with your leg extended and calf over the foam roller, move to a point of discomfort and hold for 30”. This is a minimum. I’ll stay with it until the pain is mostly gone. Then move to another section of the calf and repeat. The day after a hard leg workout, I can easily spend 10 minutes JUST on calves.

How To: Trigger Point

This is a bit more involved and beyond the scope of this review. Take a look at the How To. It’s a bit painful but I’ve never felt better after a Trigger Point Calf Session.

One more note about stretching:

Before Workout: Holding a static stretch longer than 20” decreases athletic performance. Use more dynamic movement that simulates your event

Post Workout: This is the time to do the 30+ seconds of holding that stretch. Autogenic inhibition occurs around 20” that will allow the stretched muscle to release via activation of the Golgi tendon organ.


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