The abbreviation SMR stands for self myofascial release.
SMR is a self-applied (myo)fascial release or relaxation. The term fascia is used synonymous for connective tissue in the context described here.
Detailed explanations shall clarify which connective tissue is implied, along with its normal function, and, most importantly, why release using The Backrelease is useful in this specific tissue.
The Fascia System
“The fascia system can be best visualized as a spiderweb, reaching through the entire body, whose parts are flexibly connected and communicating with each other.”
Scientists have recently recognized that this structure, which was previously perceived as mere packaging material, actually serves a variety of important functions within the body.
One of its tasks is to connect structures such as bones, muscles, and organs, in order to keep them in the correct position and to support their function. New fascia are forming around injured structures, in order to close any gaps, eg after a cut. Fascia are omnipresent throughout the body and separate even the smallest structures.
Let’s have a look at further important functions.
Fascia have the ability to transfer power. During muscle contractions in activities of daily living as well as in training, forces are released that must be transferred to our skeletal system. The connection between muscle and skeletal system is formed by fascia, specifically by fascia attaching to the bone as tendon or sinew. Therefore, every tendon in our body is a fascia.
Fascia are also present on stabilizing ligaments that guide the joint in its natural range of movement, connecting parts of different bone structures. Fascia also serve as storage of power, as power is not only stored in the muscles.
A significant proportion of the energy needed for movement of joints and bones derives from the function of fascia. However, fascia can also represent a source of pain and discomfort. Discomfort of the musculoskeletal system often result from inadequate or one-sided loading.
Depending on their function, fascia can have different characteristics, forms and qualities. An elastic, robust and flexible fascia system therefore represent the best possible injury prevention.
Furthermore, fascia serve as a place of perception which means that fascia can be responsible for a pleasant or unpleasant body sensation.
Athletes and elite athletes will appreciate the factor of increased exercise capacity, guaranteed by increased functionality of the muscles and improved movement control by the nervous system.
At the same time, a properly functioning fascia system also protects from injury in a preventive manner. Furthermore, the release of adhesive or sticky fascia can attenuate existing pain, often getting rid of it. These aspects put fascia in the spotlight for everybody, athletes as well as non-athletes, as remaining pain-free is a paramount for anyone.
More valuable information about fascia: anatomytrains.com
The SMR Training
After explaining what the fascia system is and why it should be trained, we would like to discuss how fascia training should be structured.
During every SMR training, the quality of the self myofascial release exercise execution is a paramount. It is crucial to do the exercises slowly and carefully.
This is the only way to effectively release adhesions deep inside the tissue and to release tension permanently. SMR training should never be done quickly and without complete control. Take your time to go through your training – the effort invested here will pay off.
You will find detailed instructions for an optimal training in our booklet, which will support you in self myofascial release techniques with the Backrelease.
You will automatically receive the booklet as a free bonus with your purchase!
It is normal that SMR training feels very uncomfortable during the initial phase. This is due to the above mentioned fact that the fascia system is a source of pain perception and can respond in a very sensitive manner.
This should however not prevent you from leaving your comfort zone or treating the sensitive locations thoroughly. This will ensure that you develop an effective and long-lasting training routine.
Another specific aspect of SMR training is the fact that days will occur on which you will encounter very sensitive areas. This may be due to strenuous exercise or to remaining in a seated position for too long the day before.
Don’t get discouraged by that, as only persistent and continued SMR training leads to improved wellbeing.
Common Self Myofascial Release tools
Several tools are available for SMR training. Among the most commonly used tools are the fascia roll and the Lacrosse ball.
The fascia roll (foam roller) is suitable for treating superficial adhesions, as the roll can not penetrate adhesions deep inside the tissue due to its size and surface area.
Especially in the shoulder and back area, the foam roller quickly meets its limitations. It is therefore difficult, to reach these areas autonomously and to apply sufficient pressure for an effective SMR training, as an effect can only be achieved if the applied stimulus is sufficiently intense.
The Lacrosse ball may be the better option here, however, its spherical shape does not provide the optimal pressure point to work effectively in this area either.
Furthermore, we have learned from experience that the ball often rolls away when trying to apply more pressure or movement to the ball.
We do not however want to denigrate these tools, as both have their purpose and can be very effective if applied correctly.
Using the Backrelease for optimal success in the SMR training
Using the Backrelease, it is possible to effectively treat yourself at any time. The application is simple and easy to understand.
Most exercises are done standing up. The door frame is ideal for efficient self-treatment.
Thanks to the long handle it is possible to easily reach areas of the back, which are normally extremely difficult to reach and treat by yourself.
The different attachments enable an increase in intensity and effective release of adhesions without having to use more strength.
Due to the Anti-Slip Pad on the back, the Backrelease is extremely slip-resistant, even when applying more pressure or movement.
Another advantage is that the self-massage tool can be easily disassembled. This makes it ideal to take along on small as well as bigger journeys.
In our opinion, the Backrelease represents an evolution of the currently available tools and will optimize the success and benefits of your self myofascial release training.
In addition, it will be sent to you with a free booklet. This booklet describes all important aspects of SMR training with photos and detailed explanations. This ensures that really nothing can go wrong.
What are you waiting for? Start now into a flexible future with the Backrelease!
Mathias Richter holds a Bachelor degree (B.Sc.) from the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, in Sport Science and a Master’s degree (M.A.) from the Sporthochschule Köln in Health Management. During his Bachelor degree, he worked as a sports therapist, and extended his work continuously up to his Master’s degree. His main focus was on junior athletics, specialising in the disciplines hockey and swimming.