Monday, December 7, 2009

Heal Thyself

Last week New York Times online ran a good article on foam rolling and self myofascial work.

No matter if you lift heavy, run, or do spin class it's likely you feel tightness from time to time, or have postural issues. I conservatively estimate that about oh.... 100% of new clients at the gym have pretty tight thoracic spines, IT bands and hip flexors.

Those that do a lot of endurance training, be it running, biking, or cardio class will almost certainly have some significant scar tissue or adhesions due to repetitive motions and pounding on the joints, not to mention imbalances:

For instance, “riding on aerobars on the bike sets up a huge muscle imbalance in the upper back and shoulders,” said Tim Crowley, a triathlon coach in Marlboro, Mass. “Hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes become extremely tight and immobile from running.”

The following is an example of a foam rolling sequence from Eric Cressey. Note that in the video a small ball is also used for the calves, glutes, and other hard to get at areas. You can certainly use a roller for these areas first, and gradually work into using a tennis or golf ball.

5 minutes a day will do wonders for you.

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