TFL, Lats & Spine

Foam rolling is a simple, time-efficient technique for keeping your muscles and joints in optimal condition.

Foam rolling is fantastic for both athletes and desk-based workers. It is great for prevention, managing injuries, and also recovery following exercise.

There are plenty of ways to use a foam roller, but here are some of our favourites!

1. Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL)

The TFL muscle is a common source of lateral hip pain that is closely associated with ITB friction syndrome, patellofemoral pain, and other running-related injuries. Keeping tension and trigger points in this muscle will help minimise these injuries becoming a problem.

How to roll your TFL:

  • Laying face down, place the roller at the top of your thigh, just below the bony part of your pelvis
  • Turn your body 45o so the pressure is on the TFL muscle
  • Pulse gently up and down for 30-60 seconds

 

2. Latissimus Dorsi (‘Lats’)

A fantastic exercises for swimmers and gym go-ers, especially those who struggle to achieve a comfortable overhead squatting position, and also for those with shoulder pain.

Tight lats will clamp down on the shoulder and restrict elevation.

How to roll your lats:

  • Lay on your side with your under-side arm at 90o
  • Apply pressure to the underside of your trunk near your armpit
  • Complete small-amplitude pulses for 30-60 seconds

 

3. Thoracic Spine

THE most common desk-based injury we see in the clinic!

Sitting – at a desk, in the car, at home on your ipad or phone – with poor posture (or even good posture) can create a build up of joint and muscle tightness in your mid-back. This mid-back pain is often the reason our necks, shoulders and lower back gets overloaded and painful. Keeping good back flexibility is vital for good spine health.

How to roll your thoracic spine:

  • Lay on your back with the roller at the level of your lower shoulder blade
  • Clasp your hands behind your head to support your neck
  • Keeping your hips off the ground, gently roll up and down
  • Lower your shoulders over the foam roller at the end of the movement

 

To increase the stretch through your back and your shoulders use a small weight (2-3kg) and gently lower your arms overhead

  • Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat 2-3 times

 

If you have any questions about these techniques, please get in touch. I would love to help.

Happy rolling!

Andy Allan
Physiotherapist
andy@torquaysmc.com.au