T Nation

Myo-Fascial Release - Foam Roller

Hi everyone,

I purchased a foam roller to do myfascial release on myself and it was one of the best investment I ever made. I love the gains I have been able to make in softening the fascia in order to increase my flexibility.

I was wondering… I know the foam roller is good for softeneing the myofascia, but can I (and if so, how) use the roller to lengthen the muscles of my body --especially my back mucles (lower and upper). I feel like if my back muscles were aggressively stretched, as in put in traction, I would literally grow another 2" in length - I feel very compressed between my hips and my neck.

Please PM me or write back - will really appreciate the help.


I assume you’ve already read:


Post your question in Mike Robertson’s Locker Room thread.

Definitely agree with flynnie. Cressey and Robertson do a really nice job on explaining good foam roller movements.

Guessing from your screen name, you play soccer (as I do) and I was curious: do you play indoor? The reason I ask is that I find I feel the same way as you when I am playing indoor consistently, as if everything in my spine is compacted. Between the rock hard indoor surface and the utter lack of cushioning in 99% of indoor shoes, it’s brutal. Looking forward to warmer weather and playing outside.


Hey all,

Thanks for replying. I read the article but it doesnt go into depth about how to lengthen muscle as opposed to loosening it up on the roller… Further insight would be appreciated.

Kaz- I definitely know what you’re feeling and would like to know what you do to alleviate the problem. Have you ever went for traction or some sort of aggressive stretching so that your back is lengthened? Do you have a good nutrition/workout routine I could follow?

Looking forward to hearing more from you all.


Check out “Rolfing” which is the brand-name of a technique called “structural integration”. I just started, I did two intro sessions and I must say it is amazingly painful. The structural integration requires 10-12 sessions that last from 1-2 hours.

Google it and check out the pictures.

How much does rolfing cost per session? Do you feel a noticeable difference already? Is your person in the NYC area?

The lady who did my mom in Illinois charged $80 per session but here in DC some of the practicioners charge up to $250 per session.

At first I thought it was outrageous and I kept trying to figure out how to do the same shit on my own with a foam roller and stretching etc… some of it helped, especially attending to neutral spine.

But this dude seriously just broke up muscle that had been tense for years and now my clavicle is sort of ‘invisible’. Before yesterday the clavicle was much more prominent. Also, I thought my ribcage was deformed but it was just tight muscles.

I still have to finish the entire program. My goal is to eliminate, to the extent that it is genetically possible, the lumbar lordosis and sideways pelvic tilt. I am also having knee pain. I won’t train hard until the shit is straightened out.

There are plenty of people in NYC I think, and you can just shop around. There are directories with numbers too. Just start googling.

BTW, I did find someone to to the sessions for $100. He gave me the student rate because I told him I am putting my wife through grad school at G-town and I am practically penniless. I think you can find someone who will do it for a reasonable rate, and sometimes health insurance covers “massage” and most, if not all practitioners of strucural integration are also liscensced massage therapists. Just talk to your doc and check your insurance out, it might be free or discounted.

This picture is an extreme case but you get the idea, it’s all about lengthening and straightening.

I wonder if anyone has heard any serious criticism’s of this technique, if so I would be interested in reading them.

thanks for bringing Rolfing to light. This looks to have some good merit.

FWIW, my friend claims to stand 1 full inch taller after undergoing all the rolfing treatments.

It sounds good to me in that they work on the entire body, not just focusing on 1 or 2 painful areas. I’m considering it myself. If you are only concerned with one area an ART practitioner would probably be better. In rolfing, they work to loosen everything thats tight from your head to your toes. Sounds like a great idea to me if you can afford it, but if money is really tight and you have somethng specific you want done, an ART practitioner will focus on one area, which could save you some $$.

Considering that I have never heard of a serious criticism leveled against structural integration I am tempted to say that it sounds too good to be true. But then again, I don’t recall ever enduring that much pain. :slight_smile:

The guy I am presently seeing was trained here…


The lady that did my mom was trained here…


And the website of the inventor of the technique Ida Rolf PHD is here…


Here is the only criticism of Rolfing that I can find and it doesn’t assert that there are no physical benefits from Rolfing, only that the physio/emotional connection is new-age crap.


These aren’t the only resources out there for finding a practitioner and if you do some research remember to look for “Structural Integration” which is the generic term for “Rolfing” which is copyright protected etc…

Anyone know of an Affordable (I repeat - affordable) Rolfer in the Long Island area? or NYC?

WOW…Rolfing! That’s a blast from the past!

I was “Rolfed” back in 1987. Ten sessions. $600. And that was expensive for me back then.

But it did a world of good, especially in my feet. I did a lot of downhill skiing back then and my feet were in a semi-permanent cramp. Rolfing relieved all that and more. Then, the local Rolfer moved away, otherwise I would have definitely kept it up.

As a side note - I was an architecture major, so I was completely into the “structural integration” concept.

Now, when I’m feeling too tight, achey,and stressed — I go for a few yoga classes. It’s great at lengthening muscles and opening up the joints. (I know, I know – not too popular for a weight-lifting site, but it works for me.)


Do you feel like you got taller from rolfing? Any recommendations for someone in Long Island/Queens/NYC?