Trigger Point Rolling – Yes or No?

Posted on: 16/04/2018

Personally, I encourage the clients I work with to use a trigger point roller to minimise the negative effects of DOMS (delayed onsite of muscle soreness), stiffness and soreness following a training session. This latest blog explains how you should be using a roller to maximise the benefits.

Myofascial Release delivered via a trigger point roller can be an effective and an effective mechanism to assist with decreasing pain as well as restoring range of motion. It can assist with increasing power, strength and agility to some extent by supporting movement efficiency. Myofascial release refers to the application of pressure on your fascia, which is a network full of dense connective tissue that runs through the body and wraps around your internal organs and muscles and can assist with holding these structures in place.

When your body is under stress it can unevenly distribute strain that ends up excessively loading one or more parts of the body that can cause injury. This can also limit your range of motion and cause compression of the muscle and nerve which can lead to a decrease in blood flow along with nutrient uptake within that specific area.
Self-myofascial release is suggested to assist with your recovery as well as your performance and can commonly be referred to trigger point rolling. Rolling out the muscles has become a very popular warm up and method of recovery, that had been overlooked in previous years.

With numerous studies showing benefits from the use of a rolling technique of the muscles, it has been associated with an increase in your flexibility as well as your performance to speed, power and agility. Inclusion of this technique within recovery sessions, has been shown to assist in increasing blood flow, assist with lymphatic drainage as well as decreasing muscle soreness, tenderness and stiffness.

A recent study, shows that a 20 minute trigger point rolling session had a significant decrease in the effects of DOMS not only within 24 hours but up to 72 hours of training on the performance of sprinting, power and gym based exercises.
In the above-mentioned study, a 20 minute trigger point rolling session may reduce the physical performance decrements and assist with faster recovery time together with assisting in the increase in flexibility and mobility.

I am not suggesting that you need to go out and purchase a trigger point roller. I am purely explaining the benefits of using this type of recovery approach, not only in your recovery sessions but also your warm up.
Different types of equipment can be used to achieve the desired effect:

1. Smooth surface foam roller
2. Tennis balls
3. Compact rumble rollers
4. Foam roller balls
5. TriggerPoint Grid Rollers (my preferred choice)

For your Trigger Point rolling sessions try these muscle areas:

1. Hips, ITB
2. Gluts
3. Quadriceps
4. Hamstrings
5. Inner/ Outer thigh
6. Calves
7. Lower & upper back

If you suffer from stiffness after training, or want to vary up your warm down routine, then you should consider one of the above and learn how to properly use it in order to optimise your workout. Stiffness and soreness following training, and injury, are all reasons why many of us find it difficult to train multiple days in a row; however, by employing the correct techniques as mentioned above you will able to function better and will receive greater benefit from your training sessions when your muscles are repairing and growing.