This is one of the most under used and under estimated parts of fitness. Being strong matters, so does having good stamina and endurance because of increased lung capacity.
Those things will only get you so far if you don’t take care of the muscles and supporting structures themselves. You’re not going to be able to kill it in the gym or on the field if you’re constantly injured or tight.
Mobility work consists of trigger point therapy or myofascial release, which breaks downs any adhesions, knots or general tightness which is created in the muscle from lifting and constant use. Basically you have to think of it as ironing out a wrinkled muscle.
When we have knots in our muscle tissue, the muscles work capacity is limited because of it’s inability to FULLY contract and release. These knot’s build over time creating tightness and after awhile, pain and then injury.
This is obviously not optimal.
By using a technique called foam rolling, we are able to break down these lumps and smooth the muscle out, getting it back to it’s original length and suppleness. Not only will this make you feel better, but it will make you work better.
How to Foam Roll
Get yourself a foam roller. I prefer the Rumble Roller because of the tire like knobs it has. This is superior to the traditional flat surfaced roller for this reason. You’ll get a much better session and better results with this tool as it gets much deeper then a flat roller. The release is much greater.
So for example, start with your calves, one leg at a time.
You want to rest your calf directly on the roller and then by lifting yourself up, rolling your calf over the roller, back and forth until you find a tender spot.
Once you find the tender spot, stop rolling and keep your calf there. Now take your other leg and drape it over the leg you’re rolling using it to push down on your calve pressing it into the roller.
It’s gonna hurt…..like a bitch. Rolling is the epitome of no pain no gain. You need the pressure to break down the adhesion.
Take your stop watch and set the timer for three minutes. Now you just have to lay there and wait. Three minutes is the amount of time that it’s going to take for the knot to break and the muscle to release. You’ll actually feel this release as the timer counts down. Towards the end of the three minute period you’ll feel the pain and pressure all of a sudden start to dissipate. Once it’s gone, you’re done with that muscle.
You’re going to notice an immediate difference in how the muscle feels and moves. It’s going to feel light, loose and smooth.
You’re then going to repeat this same step on all your major muscle groups.
It’s a good idea in the beginning to do this daily, especially if you’ve never done it before. Once you get the hang of it and you’re muscles are conditioned, you can get away with doing it every other day or so.
You’re going to notice a huge difference in the way you feel once you’ve moved through your whole body. Because it can be pretty painful at times, you’ll actually be rewarded with a release of endorphins from doing this properly. As you continue to practice your mobility work, the pain and discomfort will ultimately become a thing of the past. It’s only in the beginning that’s tough.
By continuing this practice, you’re greatly lowering the chances of injury which will keep you in the game where you need to be. The sooner you start rolling, the better.
The third major section of this site is next. You’ve got your diet down, you’ve got your exercise down and now were going to show you how to kick things up a notch. Time to learn about….
“There is more to getting strong than lifting heavy weights.”