Personal management of soft-tissue health and function

Throughout my training career, I've seen an increasing emphasis on personal management of soft-tissue health and function through the use of diverse techniques and tools.

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From trigger-point devices to tennis balls, people are finding ways to massage and release their muscles and connective tissue in their own homes and fitness facilities.

The multiple benefits of keeping your muscles and the surrounding fascia supple and nourished can't be ignored: better circulation, reduced joint stress, increased range of motion and less pain. With a little knowledge and some inexpensive tools for body-rolling, it's possible to treat yourself to your own, personal sports massage. I'm not suggesting that this will replace the services of trained, qualified practitioners, but performed as part of a regular physical-maintenance plan, a few myofascial release exercises can go a long way.

Some of my favourite tools for body-rolling arefoam rollers,body rollingballs,softballs and theTravel Roller, Buy a Travel Roller, Foam Roller & Foam Rollers.

Here are some key points about how and how not to roll your body for the best results.

Remember to get your doctor's approval in advance, especially if you have any history of injury, pain syndrome, heart disease or vascular illness.

Be sure to tell him/her that you'd like to try rolling exercises for myofascial release.

How to get rolling

Muscles and other tissues usually respond better when they're warm. Always perform a thorough warm-up to elevate tissue temperature, increase circulation and lubricate your joints and tissues.

Focus on areas that are tight or have reduced range of motion. One benefit of body-rolling is to release tension in the tissues that need it. Most people know where they're tight, but an assessment by an expert in body movement and mechanics such as a physiotherapist, kinesiologist, chiropractor or massage therapist might be a good idea to give you some direction about which areas you should roll.

- -Position the roller under the soft-tissue area you want to release or loosen. Be careful to stay on the soft tissues and avoid rolling directly over bone or joints, which could be painful and won't provide any benefits.

- -Gently roll your body weight back and forth across therollerwhile targeting the affected muscle. Rolling exercises are most effective if you can relax as much as possible and allow gravity to provide the force and pressure needed to release the soft tissues. If you're straining to support your position or create enough pressure, you likely aren't allowing your body to relax enough to get the benefits of the myofascial release.

- -Move slowly and work from the centre of the body out toward your extremities where possible. For example, roll out your upper hamstrings before working your way to the lower hamstrings and calves.

- -When rolling, you will discover small areas that are more tight or painful (trigger points). You may even feel pain referring to other, nearby areas of your body. To release these areas of tension, it may help to hold the roller in the same position for a few seconds, until the area softens. Some tools, such as a foam roller, may not be point specific enough to target trigger points. This is where a softball, tennis ball or acupressure ball may be helpful.

- -Roll over each area a few times until you feel it relax. It may feel very tender at the start and get progressively less painful, which is a good indication that the soft tissue tension is releasing.

- -Keep your first few foam roller sessions short, and rest a day between sessions at first. You can gradually increase the duration and frequency of rolling sessions as your tolerance increases.

- -Proper hydration is key to healthy tissues and the release of toxins following any type of massage. Drink plenty of water before and after everyworkout and body rolling session.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 12/27/2016


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