This week we’re sharing a few posts on a specific topic – foam rolling and self-myofascial release (SMR).

In this day and age, injury prevention and treatment is a lot higher on the agenda than it was a decade ago. People are more aware of mobility and soft tissue work than ever before. These blog posts and videos we’re sharing go through how you might want to approach SMR, examples of different ways to use a foam roller, and its potential pros and cons.

Michael Boyle likes foam rolling, perhaps as much as he hates “normal” squats. This (nearly 10 year old!) piece of writing introduces why foam rolling has grown in popularity over the last 20 years and gives some ideas for when to roll and how to use a foam roller effectively.

You can read the full post here.

Antranik has shared many excellent articles and videos on mobility and bodyweight exercises. These two youtube videos share the ways Antranik uses a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to hit all the places you probably want to try out SMR. The main header link takes you to the foam roller video.

You can find video 1 (foam roller) here and video 2 (with the lacrosse ball) here!

Another video with some further ideas for how to use your foam roller, this time from Scott Herman. Definitely worth trying out all these positions to see what works for you and your clients.

You can find the video here.

This post, from Josh Hewett, is an excellent article on the potential negatives of using a foam roller and how it is often an over-used and inappropriately applied tool. He also links to some excellent articles from the likes of Bret Contreras, Todd Hargrove and Mike T Nelson, who go further into a critical analysis of just how useful foam rolling can be. Definitely worth digging into and reading further while also seeing what works for you.

You can read the full post here.

This incredibly meaty post from Bret Contreras and Chris Beardsley over at Strength & Conditioning Research goes in depth, picking apart the science to see what SMR is really good for, including its potential effects on flexibility, athletic performance and DOMS. If you like meta-analyses of the science out there, then this is the post to get stuck into.

You can read the full post here.