Updated: Aug 2, 2022
What is fascia? Think of it as a network of connective tissue that surrounds our muscles, bones, organs, and blood vessels and provides internal structure. The word fascia means "band" in Latin and is made up primarily of collagen. Some of the benefits of healthy fascia include increased blood flow, improved body symmetry, reduced risk of injury, and improved athletic performance. Fascia becomes unhealthy due to many factors such as stress, unhealthy eating habits, dehydration, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor posture. Massage can often help release the bound up connective tissue and increase blood flow to the affected area.
Self-myofascial release is done using tools such as a foam roller or a tennis ball to apply a gentle pressure to sore and tight areas. The tennis ball in particular is smaller and can pinpoint a more targeted area than a foam roller. Some considerations to make when doing send-myofascial release are to prepare the area first by applying heat and light stretching or massage of the area in advance. When you discover a tension point, hold the ball in position and try to maintain the pressure for approximately 30 seconds. Follow up with more stretching to help mobilize the area.
For more examples of self-myofascial release using a tennis ball, check out this video from our library: