I’m no fortuneteller, but I’m usually pretty good at predicting the first few moves people make when they enter the gym. Somewhere between setting down their bag, consuming a healthy dose of caffeine, and loading up the barbell there’s some vaguely defined—albeit well-intentioned—period of time that involves rolling around on a foam roller or digging a lacrosse ball into various body parts.
These types of soft-tissue mobilization techniques have become a standard part of most people’s warm-up routines. But what do we really know about the science underlying these methods? And more importantly, are they right for everyone?
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a purpose and a plan, and not just a bunch of haphazard “I-think-this-is-supposed-to-be-good-for-me” exercises?
This article will explore some of what we know about the science of muscle and fascia, and how we can connect that information to our workouts for the best possible outcomes.