Foam rolling, in particular, has been the subject of a tremendous amount of hype, misinformation, and debate about its efficacy as a training tool. Foam rolling is great for enabling fluid
movement and doing SMR on larger areas such as the back or hip complex, but the amount of time
dedicated to it should be relatively short–a couple of minutes is plenty. Studies (Pearcey et al. 2015)
indicate that foam rolling is most effective as a post exercise recovery tool for improving fluid flow to
muscle tissues and reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Rolling large structures, such as the
hips, helps warm tissues & increase blood flow.
Vibration Guns and Plates
The same is true for vibration guns and plates, which are less common than foam
rollers but use vibration frequencies for targeted myofascial relapse and improved fluid
flow,. That said, spending a few minutes of your pre-warm-up using
vibration and pressure tools to facilitate fluid movement can enhance tissue
behaviors in ways that prepare you for high-level movements and more importantly manage your athlete’s chances of injury.
The process for SMR is to take a lacrosse
ball, tennis ball, foam roller, or other
similar tool and roll it around, finding the tender
spots in your torso, legs, or feet,
as shown here. When you locate a trigger
point, apply sustained pressure to the area
until the pain or tenderness subsides. Then
work on that spot for about 30 to 60 seconds while breathing deeply, using your
diaphragm. This part of your pre-warm-up routine should take less than five minutes and target one to three muscle groups.