Trigger Point Therapy with the Foam Roller by Dr. Karl Knopf and Chris Knopf

Trigger Point Therapy, or Self Myofascial Release (SMR), is something I am particularly fond of. I was offered a free book to try by Dr. Karl Knopf and Chris Knopf on doing trigger point therapy with a foam roller. Unfortunately, a foam roller is not included, but I had one anyway so it worked out perfectly!

What is SMR? The root “myo” means muscle, and “fascia” is in a nutshell, what makes up your muscles. You can get these sort of “knots” in your muscles that lead to pain in other places, or could just be tight. For example, if someones hamstrings are very tight, it can cause pain on the lower back. One can do SMR on certain areas that let those hamstrings “loosen up” and then your lower back pain may be relieved!  (please note: I am not licensed in SMR or trigger point therapy. I learned through my career of personal training).

The book starts with an overview, which tells you what SMR is and how to use a foam roller to hit your “trigger points”. Then it moves onto some programs, which range from things such as a Posture Program, Upper Back Release Program, Foot & Leg Release Program, and even things such as a Basketball or Bicycling program. Each program lists a few exercises, and next to each exercise there is a  page number. I really like the fact they incorporated a program, so if you have a specific goal in mind, and have no idea how to help your target issue, this book can lead you in the right direction. Or if you have pain from chronic bicycling, how these massages may help you, and etc.

Part 3 then leads to the exercises themselves.  Each exercise gives you detailed instructions and pictures. I did not take a picture to post of the pages for copyright issues, but I can tell you they are easy to follow!

My favorite exercise was the Piriformus Release. You essentially sit on the foam roller at an angle on your glutes, and it helps your lower back and glute region loosen up. I found it the most useful for  all the deadlifts and squats that I do. My hamstrings, glutes and lower back can get awfully tight!

Here is what it looks like…yes I am in my PJs 😀

Overall, a great book. Some of these I already knew from my personal training background, but there were definitely some new ones in there for me. A MUST for people who workout a lot and are active, or find themselves with frequent muscle knots. The only thing I didn’t care for was the quality of the pages. They felt very thin and cheap, I wish the pictures were in color and the pages were a bit sturdier.

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