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The proposed benefits of self myofascial release using a foam roller are well known. Whole body vibration technology has been shown to be a useful adjunct to static stretching as well as improving stability and anterior reach on the Y Balance test in elite soccer players. The VYPER by Hyperice is the first device to combine high intensity vibration with a compact outer shell (foam roller).

In particular, this device can be very useful for reducing trigger points, muscle soreness and inhibiting overactive muscles. This column will address how to use this device as part of movement prep to facilitate improved ankle mobility by addressing tightness in the gastrocsoleus complex and Achilles tendon.

 
Execution:
Begin with the foam roller beneath the lower leg. Slowly move up and down along the roller with the foot in a neutral position. Perform 30 seconds in this position. Now, repeat this sequence for 30 seconds with the foot turned inward and outward.

You may also opt to focus more on smaller areas or trigger points and do more compressive therapy holding roughly 10 seconds on each spot and follow that with more global rolling.



Application:
Limited ankle mobility is a common problem in runners and athletes. Often times, I discover that tightness in the soleus and Achilles tendon may restrict dorsiflexion, thereby leading to altered movement mechanics with squat and lunge patterns and reduce running efficiency while increasing pronation in the lower leg. Using the vibration and rolling as part of the movement prep will help reduce tightness and inhibit the golgi tendon organs (GTOs) to help facilitate a better dynamic warm-up.

Additionally, the VYPER can be used post-workout for recovery and to aid in decreasing muscle soreness. While we need additional research on this particular type of technology, the combination of vibration and rolling is exciting and offers some unique benefits for your clients with three different levels of vibration.

Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor for EXOS API at Raleigh Orthopaedic. Brian conducts live continuing education webinars and presents nationally at professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more information on his products and services, visit www.BrianSchiff.com.

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