The Vibe Roller
Using a roller, or a ball, before a workout to “roll out your muscles,” is a technique called “self myofascial release,” or SMR. I am a big fan of this technique for the following reasons;
* Reorganizes connective tissue
* Increases blood flow
* Increases lymphatic activity
* Soft tissue elongation
* Breaking adhesions
* Decreases muscular tension
* Diminish painful trigger points
* Increases healthy tension-length relationships
* Increases proprioception, stimulates receptors in the joints, muscle and fascia.
All of these things help the body get ready for movement, helps support recovery from activity and generally creates a healthy body.
If you add vibration to SMR, you can increase the benefits even further.
An exploratory study found that in recreational athletes, using a vibrating roller increased pain tolerance more than a traditional one did. Plus, when vibrations are applied directly to a muscle, certain proprioceptors (sensors in the muscle) cause tissues to relax and loosen, and can lead to an increased range of motion. Preliminary research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that when 19 people used a vibrating roller, from their ankle to their knee, they experienced a greater increase in ankle range of motion than those who statically rolled.
Vibration increases the reconnection of the muscular and fascial system to the central nervous system, this means your muscles are primed to work harder. When the muscles work to control the vibrations, they recruit a high number of muscle fibers. This way, when you start exercising, your muscles are already prepared and you move better.
There are a rollers and balls with vibration on the market now. My favorite is the Vibe Roller. I really like the peanut shape for getting into the shoulders, upper back, feet, calves and quads; it is also small enough to throw into your bag without taking up much room. Click here to find out more about Vibe Rollers.