July 25, 2022 2 min read

How does SMR (self-myofascial release) help your mobility?

It’s all about the nervous system.  It’s time to ‘open up the window’.

If you’re going to the gym on a weekly basis, you’ve got the perfect foundations in place to make some big changes in your mobility. Sometimes you just use a roller for recovery or cool-down, but you could be missing a huge opportunity to make functional gains in all of your joints.

When we use the pin-and-hold technique (resting on one location for 60 seconds), we’re temporarily opening up flexibility in an area of fascia and muscle. You’re affecting all the sensors that control length in the tissues, and for a temporary period, you have a new software system for the brain to react to.  

The key word there is temporary. In order for your brain to stay away from its old patterns of shorter tissues, we need to actually MOVE in this new range of motion, so it can adapt to changes and integrate the newfound range of motion in a safe environment. Change the software, change the pattern.

Once you open up a tissue, the muscle and fascia actually need to be trained in a longer state. By strengthening the muscles and tissue in the end-range of motion, you’ll start to convince the brain it’s safe, and more importantly, useable. If you have more range of motion and strength in end ranges, you’ll keep your joints safe by having them share the load... your ACL can only do so much without the hamstrings help.

Before your next workout, spend five minutes working on some restricted areas, and see if you can get deeper in that squat.