If you’re not doing self-myofascial release work before and after each workout, you are missing out on the one thing, if done

The foam roller can be used on almost all muscle groups and should cover each fascial line entirely. Including this in your daily routine pays off in a very short amount of time.

properly, shown to increase flexibility, mobility, and performance.  If you using the foam roller, muscle activation techniques and lengthening exercises we teach, then you can affirm everything I write hereafter.  When we (the instructors and you) have spoke about your lack of mobility or flexibility in your hips or shoulders or calves or whatever joint(s), we probably took the time to demonstrate for you a few corrective exercises to get you on track for improvement.  I know many of you who’ve experienced corrections in imbalances and range of motion.  Shawni, Pedrina, Kelly L. and…  wait, I’m having a difficult time thinking of any of you guys who do this work regularly.  Ok, one… Shawn K.  But it took injury after injury to get him to.  Oddly fellas, it seems to be the ladies that listen and actually do the work and therefore, gain the desired results.  You fellas that can’t overhead squat because your pec minors are so tight you can’t hold a bar overhead should really be paying attention now.  You know who you are hardheads.  Your lack of commitment to this part of our programming has you stuck in rut that you could easily get out of.  I know it isn’t just the guys.  I’m kidding…  plenty of you on the fairer side have poorly developed upper back and shoulders.  Your posture from hours of sitting behind a desk have your shoulders more round than a beach ball.  If you’re interested in correcting these things, read on.  Better yet, attend class tomorrow (Wednesday).


  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased range of motion
  • Decreased muscle soreness & joint stress
  • Increased mind / muscle feedback
  • Decreased neuro-hypertonicity (tension from CNS)
  • Improved strength and performance

Muscles contain two types of neuro receptors.  The spindles and golgi tendon organs (gto).  Spindles are parallel to the muscle

Tendon link muscle to bone. The musculo-tendinous complex is the connection of muscle fiber tissue and tendon.

fibers, while gto are found at the tendinous junction.  The muscle spindles monitor changes in muscle fibers and the CNS’s interaction with the fibers.  When triggered, the spindles cause the myotatic stretch reflex.  A shortening of the muscle tissue that can causes inflexibility, lack of mobility and even pain.  Golgi tendon organs are located at the musculotendinous junction, where the tendons and muscles verge.  They sense changes in muscular tension.  Stimulation of the GTO’s past a certain threshold inhibits the muscle

Muscle Spindle

spindle activity, and decreases muscular tension.  This activity is referred to as autogenic inhibition, or inhibition by its’ own receptors. Watch this video for a thorough explanation.

Reducing muscle tissue tension with myofascial release techniques decreases pain associated with inflexibility and limited range of motion while improving the same range of mobility.  This improved function of the muscle and associated joint, coupled with the better CNS/muscle connection, inherently improves performance.

The science may seem complicated, but the causality is simple.  If you foam roll, your fitness and health will improve.  While it may not be as exciting as a sexy metcon, exhausting as back squats, or as fun rope climbs, we don’t dedicate a full day of it each week to bore you.  I don’t do or program “busy work”.  If I didn’t think this part of our training was worth the while, would I dedicate this much effort to a post on it?


Quadriceps – “Hanging off” one end of the roller and massaging only one leg at a time allows for more pressure to be applied.

Everyday.  At least 3 times per day.  One therapeutic session, one pre-workout session and one post workout session.   

Like stretching, self myofascial release techniques differ with purpose.  Using the foam roller during the day, aside from your workout will increase the effectiveness of your flexibility and mobility program ten fold.  A therapeutic session should be slow and deliberate.  Stop on any painful spots and hold there for 30-45 seconds.  Roll all four sides of the body… front, back, and both sides.

Pre-workout roller work should be the most specific, be stimulating to the CNS and focus on preparing you for the upcoming movements.  In other words, if you are squatting, your release work would still include the upper body, but the focus would be on the lower.

The Pec Minor – the number one inhibiting factor in the Snatch and / or Overhead Squat. If also has limiting affects on the muscle up.

The roller work should be for improving flexibility and mobility of the squat.  This means your emphasis will be on the IT Bands (from hip to knee only), glute work, and lengthening the calves.  If your workout involves opening of the shoulders (see workout below), pulling or pressing, your roller massage should be used to reduce tension in the pecs (especially the pec minors), delts, lats, traps, biceps, triceps, and rhomboids.  In other words, all the muscles that support and actuate the shoulder.  The number one limiting factor on the overhead squat or snatch has nothing to do with the legs or even the squat.  It is tight pec minors.  If tight, they disallow the shoulders to open far enough to support weight over and behind the head the way an OHS requires.

The post workout roll should also lend focus to the worked muscles, but be calming to the CNS.  It should be coupled with a structured stretching regimen, like the Core 4, taught by CFW instructors and explained in depth in the book Stretch to Win.

So tomorrow, instead of running the loop, going to Gold’s, or simply taking the day completely off, do yourself a huge favor and attend a class.  Even if you attended one previously, you will learn something new.  They are open to all members.

The IT Bands should be rolled very slowly, up to 5 minutes per roll, and from hip to knee only. Thank you CFW Instructor, Meagan, for the roller (and abs) demos.  Meagan is also our resident Yoga and Kids class instructor.  Attend her Sunday am Yoga for focused lengthening work.


Crossfit – Day 2 / Week 2

4 Rounds of the Snatch Complex for time…
6 Muscle Snatch
6 Power Snatch
6  Snatch High Pull

*Use at least the same load as you did last week, but no more than a 10-12% increase.


Dead Hang Pull-ups 6-8r x 7

Olympic Weightlifting

Power Clean + Front Squat + Clean + Jerk* x 5 sets
*3 sec pause in Split Jerk
(3 Snatch Push Press + 1 Overhead Squat) x 5 sets
Clean Pull 5reps x 4 sets

3 rounds
10 Kettlebell Swings (24/16)
10 Pull ups

10 thoughts on “The Benefits Of Self Myo-Fascial Massage

  1. Tanner says:

    Great work at 6 am today. We had a big class and everyone got after it. Make sure to write down your numbers!! We will increase them next week.

    Myofascial release and stretching is as important as the workout when it comes to making strength gains. If your mobility is limited, muscle activation is also limited. Tomorrow we will guide you through full body myofascial release and stretching to improve your mobility and recover from these past 2 workouts. Don’t miss it!

  2. Meagan says:

    Whitney…tell Gibson I have a poster of him doing his awesome tree pose yesterday while hopping on one foot.

    Renee you are hot.

    Stretching and myofascial release is super important to any exercise routine. When I started teaching yoga and adding myofascial release techniques, my form and numbers increased dramatically.

  3. Sensei says:

    6am class was HOPPING THIS AM!! Great job to those who worked on their form and also challenged themselves to add more weight!

    Renee and Meagan are both pretty awesome ladies. You both put a lot of hard work in the gym and it shows! CFW Ladies…..Thank you.

    Work on flexibility. Make it part of your routine and research more and better ways to do it. You will be stronger, faster, and more healthy for it!


  4. Tanner says:

    By the way, we now have our ladies tank tops in. If you pre-ordered one please see Josh, Tanner, Meagan or Amy and pick yours up!

  5. Sara Clark says:

    Tough Mudder- info — This is not a long run. It’s an elaborate challenge course. It isn’t a marathon or a half marathon or any other word ending in -thon, so for those of you trying to wimp out by saying “I don’t run,” put your big girl panties on an come PLAY. For those of you with a conscience (reaching, I know), Tough Mudder benefits the Wounded Warrior project. I think you can suck up a little dirt and grit, and maybe even running, for those who have served our country. 🙂


    Also, we can get a team discount, so the more of you I can drag into this with me, the less poor I will be, and the more steak I can buy 😉 But in all seriousness and without the sarcasm, it will be a good time! Anyone who did Brave Soldier or the Step Up MudRun can tell you how much fun it was.

    So far, Albert, Mark A., and myself are in.


    Also, if anyone wants to do kickball, I need to know by this weekend. You can also tell Tanner, but only if you’re really into playing. We need at least 15 people, and I’ve only has about 6 interested. You don’t have to go to every game if we have enough people, and I will do the best I can to get us playing on whatever evening is most convenient for everyone. Games are at 6:30 or 7:30pm.

  6. t. says:

    Ouch… Sara’s lashings are fierce.

    Ladies… since Renee and Meagan are pointing out the physical development (hotness) CrossFit produces, I’d like to direct you to the podcast I posted yesterday. If you didn’t listen to it, Robb and Brad not only discuss toxic estrogen and how it affects fat storage (on the legs and butt), they also theorize a bit on why women respond so well to, and even put on muscle at higher reps with CrossFit.

    If the estrogen related body fat interests you… or losing it, the hormones are what we address with BioSignature. Leaning out up top but holding fat below the waist is all about eliminating excess estrogen and detoxifying toxic estrogens. With a few changes in your diet and anti-estrogen sups you can rid your legs and bottom of “cottage cheese” and thick legs/ankles.

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