SMR that is!
Most professional athletes have a masseuse on call for good reason. Massage benefits athletes greatly by improving flexibility, joint health, circulation and relaxation. Most of us don’t have the ability (or resources) to get poked and prodded 1-2x a week. But that doesn’t mean we can’t benefit from regular massage. What if I told you that you could get a great massage every day for as little as one easy payment of $15-60! I’m not trying to put Amy out of a job (not very likely) but you can do it yourself.
Self Myofascial Release aka SMR aka using your body weight and an external object (foam roller, pipe, bocce ball, tennis ball) to facilitate removal of muscle restrictions, improve muscle function and relieve soreness will greatly compliment your training at CFW.
Very simply it’s a type of self massage to help you feel better after all your hard work! During vigorous exercise and strength training, adhesions can form in the muscle and fascia (a sleeve of strong, dense connective tissue that covers your muscles). These adhesions can limit your range of motion and cause you to change or shorten your movements patterns. Left untreated they can cause pain and dysfunction not only in the immediate muscle tissue but nearby joints as well.
Rolling on and massaging these areas of tightness and restriction will not only help you feel better but will greatly contribute to better movements as well. And moving efficiently is the name of the game in CrossFit.
So, do you want to move/feel better? Ok, here’s what you do:
Grab a foam roller, 2-4″ pvc pipe, tennis ball or bocce ball. Each of these tools has a different density and contact point. The easiest to get started with is the foam roller. It’s softer and is easier to roll on without the chance of slipping out from under you. The pvc pipe is similar to the foam roller only harder (read- more painful). Also, the smaller the pipe the more pinpoint it will be (read- more painful). The tennis and bocce ball are both going to give you a bit of a different stimulus than the rollers and can be good for different areas of the body.
Now that you have your weapon of choice, just roll! Simple, huh? Roll up and down the affected area and stop when you feel pain. Hold at the point of pain for 30-45 seconds. Then begin rolling up and down the muscle again. At the beginning you might have a LOT of “points of pain.” Over time these trigger points and adhesions will decrease. There really aren’t many rules here. Freestyle and find your spots just don’t roll over bony areas. Roll slow and steady.
My friends at AIRROSTI put together a great video covering the basics of lower body foam rolling. Check it out:
Perform 1-2 sessions of SMR daily for about 10-15 minutes.
If you want the geeky version of why you should do it, the benefits of SMR include:
- Correction of muscle imbalances
- Increased joint range of motion
- Decreased muscle soreness
- Improved circulation and lymphatic flow
- Increased neuromuscular efficiency
- Maintain normal functional muscular length
If you want all that good stuff, get your roll on!
Where/What to get-
Walmart has foam rollers- these are the least dense but will still do a good job for the $$.
Lowe’s or Home Depot has pvc (or steel) pipes. You can get anywhere from 2-4″ pvc pipe to roll on. Be sure and get schedule 40 for it’s thickness. One of my fav tools is my 1 1/4″ steel pipe. It’s 18″ long and can give my calf a work over like no other!
You can find bocce ball sets or tennis balls at Walmart or Target.
At the box– we have foam rollers and bocce balls for you to use. You can also do some barbell therapy (aka smash therapy) for a little extra kick! If you don’t want to purchase your own, 3-4 treatments a week with our stuff would be great! Come in early or stay late and work on your tight self!
Trust me. I’m not just your coach, I’m a doctor as well! 🙂