What is fascia and why do we need to roll?
Fascia are connective tissue fibers designed to attach, stabilize, enclose and separate muscles and other internal organs. Every structure in the body is covered by fascia (organs, muscles, nerves, etc). Over time, our layers of fascia can tear, through overuse or trauma to muscle. When tears don’t heal properly, layers of fascia adhere together in spots which in turn can cause pain, discomfort and limit our range of motion.
Releasing these adhesions offer great benefits including:
- Releasing knots and tightness in muscles
- Preventing injury
- Increasing flexibility and blood flow
- Reducing soreness from workouts
Why use a lacrosse ball instead of a foam roller?
The small area of the lacrosse ball allows you to pinpoint the pain more effectively and is great for treating shoulder, buttocks and hip pain. The lacrosse ball also works on smaller muscle groups like biceps, triceps and calves.
1. Roll on the trigger point ball until you feel a “hot spot” (you will know when you found it as it will hurt). Once you have found this trigger point, rest on the ball for 10-20 seconds in order to smooth the fascia.
2. Never roll over bone or joints.
3. Drink plenty of water after an intense roll session.
The following photos showcase 10 areas you can roll out using your myofascial release ball.
1. Trapezius – Place the ball between the wall and upper part of your trapezius. Pull your arm across your chest on the side you are working on. Roll back on ball until you find your hot spots.
* A great roll to release tension in your neck and shoulders.
2. Deltoid (shoulder) – Stand with your deltoid towards the wall. Place ball between you and the wall. Roll until you find your trigger points.
* A great roll for prevention and treatment of shoulder injuries including strains/tears to the rotator cuff.
3. Pectoralis Major (Chest) – Place the ball between the wall and your chest and apply pressure.
In order to find your trigger points you may need to adjust your arm as shown below.
* A great roll for those sitting at a desk all day. Rolling your chest will help prevent and treat shoulder injuries.
4. Forearm – Place forearm against the ball and press into the wall. Roll back and forth the length of the muscle groups and stop at any trigger points and hold for a sustained release.
* A great roll for prevention or treatment of conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
5. Tricep – Place the back of your arm against the ball and wall. Roll up and down from the elbow to the shoulder until you find your trigger points.
* A great release for those with any elbow pain.
6. Psoas (Hip Flexor) – Place ball in line and with your hip bone and 2 inches towards the mid-line. Rest your weight up on your elbows. Engage your core and help use the ball to push up into the psoas.
*A great roll for those with low back pain.
7. Piriformis – Sit on the ball and shift all of your weight on to one hip (your piriformis is located near your hip joint).
Extend your leg straight out as shown by Becky or cross your foot over your knee as shown by Jackie to increase the intensity.
* A great roll for those who sit all day. This roll helps prevent and treat symptoms of sciatica (radiating pain down the lower back, hips and/or back of leg).
8. Soleus (Inner Calf) – Roll ball up and down the leg to find trigger points. Once found, point your toe back towards you (dorsi flexion) and hold.
*This roll is great for those who run a lot. It helps release tension through the lower leg preventing and treating conditions such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
9. Gastrocnemius (outer calf) – Place the ball on the outside of your calf by crossing one leg in front of you at 90 degrees. Use your non supporting hand to place pressure on your leg allowing a deeper release.
* A great roll for those who run a lot. It will help release tension through the lower leg preventing and treating conditions such as shin splints and plantar fasciitis.
10. Soles of feet – Take off your shoes, place the ball on the floor with one foot on top (hold on to wall or stable surface for balance if needed). Apply pressure by placing more or less of your body weight on top of the ball. Roll from the ball of your foot all the way to your heel.
* Rolling the soles of your feet will help loosen the starting point of a network of tissue that run all the way up your back body to the crown of your head. It will help release tight calves, hamstrings and hips. This roll will help prevent and treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis.