Myofascial Release

Relieve yourself from unconscious restraint

Taylor Davidson
The Entangled Footballer

Myofascial Release ET 2.0 Campus

Post your progress every 3 weeks in the Myofascial Release Locker Room

A key proponent of fascial-driven movement is the ability of the fascia to be properly lubricated so it can glide smoothly. When you have what's called fascial adhesions, then the fascial can not glide smoothly. These are basically knots in the fascial web.

One can also consider adhesions holding muscle fibers in clumps (dead to the brain). This is basically like the brain losing connection to that collection of muscle fibers around the fascial adhesion. Applying consistent pressure (3-5 minutes) is a way of signaling to the brain that this tissue is not dead and requires stimulation.

Now many footballers who aren't naturally fascial-driven will have adhesions which are basically just knots in the fascial web. Weight lifting, sedentary lifestyle, and surgery/injuries can cause adhesions and scar tissue.

The body can also create adhesions to store trauma so don't be surprised how many you find.

Now this is not the same thing as muscle tightness which you'll feel during movement whereas adhesions you won't feel necessary during movement.

Muscle-driven movement strategies will reinforce adhesions. We change this through the Peak Harmony Training.

You can run your hands along muscle groups and press lightly to feel for bumps and clumps and actually feel where adhesions are. The fascia/muscle should be smooth.

Break Up Adhesions, Don't Stretch

Stretching adhesions will only make them tighten up. Think what happens if you pull on a knot. It only gets tighter. We need to go the other direction so the adhesions relaxes, let's go, and smooths.

Elite Naturals are not supposed to have adhesions. When they roll out they're not supposed to feel tenderness. Adhesions are largely a responsive strategy from the human body. It creates adhesions to adapt to sitting in chairs for long periods of time for example. It's merely working with what you give it.

The goal for you is to have 0 adhesions and never need to roll out again. This comes when you're fully fascial driven so your movement strategies stop creating more adhesions. Rolling out adhesions helps this process along by breaking them up with the spike ball.

In principle, you roll 2-5 minutes per spot of tenderness. You must roll through the body to check if you have adhesions. Adhesions are not felt while moving. Muscle tightness or soreness is. If you don't have adhesions then no need to roll. I like to roll in the mornings before my training.

It is essential to MOVE after rolling adhesions. This could mean playing, running, or even walking.

Where to Roll

When you roll the bottom of the feet you want go in small back and forward motions with the spike or tennis ball. Find spots of tenderness and stay there for 2-5 minutes. I recommend rolling the arch before every session.

Now many of you with any history of quad dominance will be rolling the calves a lot as they'll be sore or have adhesions from attempting to maintain ankle stiffness. You want to roll along the insides and outsides (even rotating towards your shin) of the calf.

You will also be spending a lot of time rolling the quads(inside and outsides) hip/hip flexor, and the glutes. This positions require you to lay on the ground and get the spike/tennis ball in between you and the ground so a majority of your bodyweight.

Everyone will be unique and have different knots in different spots. Explore your body. You might have to try weird positions to get good leverage, but it is worth it to release the tension.

Rolling Out Lower Body Fascial Adhesions

Upper Body Fascial Adhesions

Video below walking you through each spot I go through on the upper body. You need to take time to explore and find spots of tenderness. You can use a wall or the ground to get leverage. I really find this helpful in improving posture as well as getting smoother tension throughout the upper body from the hands.

How often to roll out adhesions?

Fascial adhesions are spots of tenderness and pain when applying pressure on the spike ball in between you and the ground/wall.

2-5 minutes per spot.

If you have no adhesions, then no need to roll out. That is the goal: to become fully fascial-driven and have no adhesions.

Undoing muscle-driven movement strategies is one of the results of fascia work. Rolling out the adhesions helps this process along. Most people have years of adhesions and knots hidden within the body (if they're not fascial-driven) that create their current posture and form.

A good rule of thumb is to pick one or two muscle groups to roll out per session. Better to go deeper into one area in a session vs a little bit of time on multiple areas.

Archived Q&A Regarding Fascial Adhesions

Q: To clarify; does the tension over time from molding and exercises gradually release and correct knots and adhesions naturally, and the spike ball rolling just helps that along?

A: Adhesions can be the result of injury, emotional/physical trauma, or just poor sedentary living. The human body simple creates adhesions as an adaptive strategy to whatever you give it. The training we do here will deal with the underlying recruitment patterns (that your brain has created) to prevent the creation of new adhesions and reinforcement of current adhesions. Rolling out adhesions has described above will deal with existing adhesions you’ve developed over the course of your life so far.

Q: For the glutes and hamstrings, I usually stand up, press my tennis ball against a wall with my leg and just move around to get the massage. I find it easier to do it in this way, but I may not apply as much same pressure as a consequence. Do you think it is less efficient to do it my way, or is it an equivalent method?

A: Around the hip this works but you just have to play around with it. Most areas of the body, you need your full bodyweight on the ball to make effective progress.

Q: I heard that we should not roll our IT band since it has to stay tight to keep things together is that true? Or is it ok to roll the IT band?Another question: Should we roll the hamstring?

A: No we are rolling adhesions in between muscle amongst the different layers of fascia. So yes it is totally fine to roll along the IT Band, not necessarily on it. The hamstrings we do roll out but with a dynamic twist, different to most other forms of MFR for the posterior chain.

Q: Just like with lower body there is a upgrade in connections that to from ankle->calf->hamstrings->glutes, how is it with upper body?

A: Well I would just think of it as wrist-> forearm -> upper arm -> chest/lats. People feel different things based on their level of connection.

Q: I roll 4 days in a week and I will take 1 and half hour to roll my whole body is this good enough?

A: It just depends on how many adhesions you have. Everyone will be unique in how much time they need. That's good work.

Q: If we have knots and adhesions in one muscle say for example glutes, do we only roll out the glutes or do we have to roll out the entire leg?

A: Well first of all, you don’t HAVE to do anything. You get to improve your athleticism and fix injuries. My recommendation is to roll wherever you have the most tenderness as that is the biggest problem area. Then work down from there.

Q: Is muscle tightness and fascial adhesions the same thing? I feel some areas as tender like you said, but there are also some that are just tight and isn’t painful but feels good after I roll them out.

A: They are different. Muscle soreness you feel walking around and through range of motion. You only feel adhesions will you roll out. This is well covered in the Private Blog Fascia Series.

Q: When you release an adhesion does the tenderness go right away? I was cupping along the meridian lines, and felt my muscles click and release the tension, but afterwards it was still tender.

A: No it takes time to go away entirely.

Q: Can you roll the same adhesions 2 times a day with a break in between?

A: Yes if you wish.*

Q: How do you know if you have successfully released an adhesion? Is it when the muscle relaxes while the painful spot is pressed against the ball or is it when it stops hurting after a few minutes of rolling?

A: It is when the spot is no longer tender and the muscle is much smoother. Doesn't happen instantly. You can actually feel this when you run your hand along the muscle lightly. You can feel clumps of adhesions. This does take a good sense of touch and experience of course.

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