Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are you taking care of your body part 2

Ok so in my last post I covered what you should do before your workout and hopefully you’ve come away with some new found knowledge that you need to take care of your body. Now remember gains or losses made in the gym come with recovery, not with how much you abuse your body. With that said a great way to recover after an intense workout is foam rolling, trigger point therapy, or self myofascial release. These are pretty much all the same thing.  Foam rolling is more generalized to major muscle groups, while trigger point therapy is more localized.  There are many types of rollers and massage balls.  For a good resource, check out this site for trigger point therapy.  There is a lot of great info as well as lots of great products, especially The Grid. 

Anyway back to what the TP therapy is all about.  This therapy will ensure that you’re ready for your next workout. Maybe you’ve heard about this in a magazine or someone talking about it around your gym. Odds are, if you ask a trainer about it, they’ll know all about it.  Or hopefully they'll know about it.   
Here are some basics about foam rolling or trigger point therapy:
A foam roller is basically a long tube of high density foam that you lay a major muscle group on. These major muscle groups basically consist of the back, glutes, quads, and hamstrings. As for the massage balls, they can hit smaller muscles, and more local areas of tightness.  Think, pec minor, rotator cuff muscles, hip rotators like piriformis. 

Now all you have to do is roll around until you find a place where there’s pain or discomfort. Now here’s the worst part; I want you to stay there.
Confused? Yea I thought so. Usually we want to shy away from pain. This is different. Think of it as a deep tissue massage. I want you to press the foam roll right into the spot that hurts. After about 45 seconds to 2 minutes of what may be one of the most uncomfortable things you’ll ever experience in a health club, the pain will dull down from something unbearable to a subdued barely noticeable discomfort, perhaps even go away entirely.  
What you’ve just successfully done is break up knotted muscle tissue, restoring proper function to the region. Feel free to continue this process on all of the major muscles, and you’ll find when you get up you feel like you just had the best massage of your life. I will warn you, some areas, specifically the IT band (side of your thigh) are more painful than others. 
So lets review what's been covered over the last 2 posts:

Start every workout with a dynamic warm-up by following the SEMI guidelines; perform your routine for the day knowing you properly warmed up, and then at the end, treat your muscles to some foam rolling and I promise you, your body will thank you in the end.

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