how exactly do I use my mobility tools to perform myofascial release and restore elasticity to my muscles?

 

Follow this method

 

 

 

 

       Step 1 – Select your preferred        mobility tool

Step 2 – Choose the target areas to work on

 

  • As a start point you can begin on the areas that you’re planning to use for activity or that are tight and sore
  • If it’s easier to remember you can start from the ground up

o   Calves, Quads, Hip flexors, It Band, Glutes, Lats, Traps/Neck

  • Since the body is connected like a chain, it’s a good Idea to combine muscles that work together.  Above and below from the area you’re targeting

o   Example:

  • Lower Back: Hamstrings, glutes, It Band, Obliques, Lats
  • Front of Hips: Quads, hip flexors, abdominals, obliques, Chest
  • Front Shoulder: Front Shoulder, Chest, Bicep, Traps

        o If you would like suggestions on a basic warm up to follow, download our 15 minute tune up here

Keep In Mind: Any Mobility Work is better than No Mobility Work, even if your only able to fit in 1 minute on one muscle group

What you have time for, work on.

Step 3 – Roll on the target areas using these 3 methods;

Foam rolling Routine

A. Slow Pressure – Rotate – Pin & Stretch

                a. - Slow Pressure – Slow your Roll

·         Apply pressure in the direction of tissue stiffness at the pace of roughly 1 inch per 2 seconds.

·         When you come to a painful area of restriction, wait and keep pressure on that area

o   This can take 30 seconds or more to begin releasing so be patient; it’s not uncommon for overly tight areas to take 2 – 5 minutes to release

o   When change is actually being made there may be a burning sensation in the tissue. Don’t quit at that point. This is a chemical change taking place and the beginning of release.

o   Keep in mind more is not better; Consistency over quantity.  After a few minutes your are not getting extra benefit by keeping pressure on one area, either move to the next technique or roll to another area on the target muscle group.  Work up and down of the area and do so frequently to free up tight trigger spots.

                b. - Rotate Side To Side on Sore Spots and Knots

o When you find a painful spot gently rotate the body part side to side until the pain starts to relieve.

                c. - Pin and stretch on trigger spots

·         Keep pressure on a painful area with your mobility tool (pin it) and stretch the muscle your mobilizing at the same time.  “Bend and Extend” the muscle while it’s pinned on a trigger point along with Slow Pressure  in order to encourage full range of motion to the deeper layers of the soft tissue.

o   Once you have a good grip on the knotted tissue, move through the range of motion that is restricted and encourage new range of motion through easy repetitive movement.  Don't force it by going to too hard  

o   Fascia is designed to transmit force so too much force can transmit to other areas targeted.

o   Make sure you aren't moving too far through your range of motion that you lose your initial grip on the tissue your mobilizing.

Step 4 – Breathe Deeply

  • Breathe deeply as you roll.  
    • Fill your lunges with deep oxygenated breathes to help the muscles relax.
    • Especially when you hit a trigger spot or sore area. 
    • You will notice that as you breathe and add Slow Pressure to trigger areas the pain will usually lessen in intensity after 30 seconds.

Keep In Mind:   The more discomfort the deeper the breath. 


Listen To Your Body

  • Using your mobility tools should not be overly painful, if you find yourself on an area that is too painful, ease up, either go with a softer surface to roll with or a broader surface. Work up to what you’re trying to release.
  • Think of getting a massage; how much discomfort would you tolerate if you were getting a deep tissue massage?
  • Don’t push through intense pain;  If it’s feels questionable, it probably is
  • If new to foam rolling and myofascial release, start small.  Choose a couple target areas you’re comfortable starting with and get familiar with the process.  You can expand to other target areas from there.
  • Learn to listen to your body; what feels right - what feels wrong - and what areas need more attention than others
  • Again: Treat your mobility work like any other new skill.
    • It may feel awkward at first but with practice and time you will feel and move better while learning your body in the process

Performing daily maintenance on your body through Myofascial Release should not take the place of professional care where necessary.  If you are injured or experiencing a high level or pain, or chronic pain, it's important to seek a professional's guidance and advice before and/or during your self care routine.


When to use your Mobility Tools

Whenever you can carve out 10+ minutes, get it in. 

Again keep in mind that 1 minute and 1 area is better than nothing at all.

Start with scheduling a routine 15 minutes every couple of days until you come up with the best routine that works for you that moves you closer to daily basic maintenance.

 

Here are a couple options to consider:

   Pre Workout  - 5 to 10 minutes along with dynamic stretching to lower chance of injury and prepare for peak performance

  • Increases blood flow; connective fibers slide against each other better, improving range of motion and reducing the chance of injury.
  • Improves elasticity; increased elasticity = increased force production using lower energy during exercise.  It does this by restoring the optimal length-tension relationship in the activated muscles and joints.
  • Not typically best for lengthy deep tissue mobility work, you’re getting the body ready to work not relax

   Post Workout - Slow down, go deeper to facilitate quicker recovery

  • Consider this a more therapeutic approach than pre workout – this process should be gradual and deliberate, make the time to work on the entire body
  • Creates suppleness which improves muscle imbalances
  • Speeds up the recovery process; reduces delayed muscle soreness from exercise, prevents muscle knots and trigger points from forming
  • Improves circulation to help remove metabolic waste, lactic acid, scar tissue and interstitial fluid from the muscles and soft tissues

Rolling on your muscles and keeping your joints healthy can be thought of a lot like flossing your teeth - your teeth need daily flossing to keep them at optimal health - so do your muscles.  

Will not flossing your teeth kill you? No, but over time that neglect will catch up with you.

Your Mobility Mantra:    Only Floss The Ones You Want To Keep pain Free


your Environment matters

It's easier for your muscles and soft tissues to keep healthy and pain free when you give them the right environment for optimal recovery and healing.  Keep the following in mind to keep the body in peak state and get the most out of your mobility sessions:

  • Proper Hydration

    • Since the soft tissues and muscles are made up largely of water. It's important to make sure you are keeping sufficiently hydrated to keep the body in peak state.
      •  Think about what would happen if you tried to slide down a water slide with only a little water coming out of it...would you slide easy?  
      • Now imagine your fascia and muscles needing a similar environment to move easier  It doesn't exactly work the same way but this gives you a good general representation of why hydration is important for soft tissues in the body.
    • As a General Rule:  Aim for ½ your body weight (lbs.) in ounces of water. You may need more depending on your level of activity, but this is a good basic guide to follow. 
      • Example: 150lb Person would require 75oz of water a day.
  • Restful Sleep

    • Rest is where all the growth and recovery happens, and quality restful sleep is essential to heal the body from daily activity and exercise 
    • As a General Rule: Aim for 8-10 hours of restful sleep each night for optimal recovery and regeneration.
  • Quality Food

    • Healthy food = healthy tissues and cell growth.  Think of your body as the most expensive sports car on earth.  What type of gas would you put in it?  The cheap stuff or the best you can find.  Think of food as the fuel for your body. It's the base of which all of your cells and tissues use to heal and regrow.  Quality food plays a large role in how our body moves and feels.
    • As a General Rule: To paraphrase Michael Pollan's excellent book “In Defense of Food". Eat real food (what your great grandparents would recognize as food) not too much, mostly plants.  
  • Manage Stress

    • Prolonged stress in the body has negative long term effects.  Tight muscles, overactive nerves, high blood pressure, these lead to unnecessary tension and eventually pain.  For a lot of people, stress is a chronic issue that could use attention in effectively reducing.  Lowered stress = more pliability in muscles and soft tissues creating a better environment to work on improving your mobility.
    • As a General Rule: When overly stressed.  Take 3 deep oxygenated breaths.  The simple act of deep slow breathing activates the hypothalamus, to send out neurohormones that inhibit stress-producing hormones and trigger a relaxation response in the body.  

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