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Foam Rolling Techniques: 4 Steps

Different foam rolling techniques: Why the fuss?

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Different foam rolling techniques: Why the fuss? It seems as though the best way to foam roll is in the name—roll. Rolling back and forth does have some merit and support from the scientific community. In a recently published review of foam rolling, Kalichman and David (2017) examined 42 studies on foam rolling that revealed only a few different techniques being used. The most common was to roll the length of a chosen muscle for a set time. Between one to two minutes was the most common time and participants usually rolled to the beat of a metronome for consistency. Another common technique to use is to “knead” the muscle by performing small back-and-forth motions along the length of the muscle. The last frequently used method, which only appears to show up with foam rolling devices that aren’t actually rollers (e.g., Thera-cane) was to hold pressure on a tender spot. All of these techniques appear to work well at either improving range of motion or decreasing pain.

In another review, Cheatham and colleagues (2015) concluded that there is no current consensus on foam rolling programs. Some studies roll at a slow pace for around two minutes, while others roll so quickly the researchers have to build special devices to hold the roller for only a few seconds! It’s true, Sullivan and colleagues (2013) constructed a device to hold a massage stick. Weights were added for pressure, a metronome was set to 120 beats per minute (that’s rolling the length of the muscle twice in one second), and the hamstrings were rolled for all of five seconds. Three other groups rolled for longer, but no group rolled more than ten seconds. All groups improved range of motion! However, the groups that rolled for longer experienced more improvements and their changes lasted a few minutes longer. Most people agree that rolling is beneficial, but how long should you roll and should you do anything more than simply roll up and down the length of the muscle?

To get a grasp on the origins of foam rolling, we need to go back many years. Depending on what you read, you’re likely to see statements that foam rolling was started by a gymnastics coach, a physical therapist, or the Greek Goddess Aphrodite (Aprhos is Greek for “foam”). (Okay, I’m sure no one ever thinks of the Goddess of Love when foam rolling.) No one knows exactly who started the foam rolling revolution, but we do know that foam rolling began as a way to mimic massage. As a massage therapist, I am aware that a foam roller will never replicate what I can do with my hands. However, it does serve as a suitable alternative for daily use. The big “miss” is that massage incorporates moving from origin and insertion of a muscle as only one of a variety of techniques. Swedish Massage (which can be considered basic) includes five traditional strokes: a) effleurage (gliding); b) petrissage (kneading); c) friction (cross friction); d) tapotement (percussion); and e) vibration (small shaking movements) (Salvo, 2007). If you want to maximize your foam rolling results, try to include different movements into your foam rolling regimen. While not all of the five strokes are easy to replicate with a foam roller, several are possible.

When pressure is applied to muscles, fluid is displaced to another area (much like squeezing a water balloon). When the pressure is removed, fresh fluid and nutrients rush back into the area (Schleip, et al., 2012). Adding additional movements and stretching forces into the area when the pressure is applied can help to maximize the benefit of fluid and nutrient replacement and improve overall movement. Follow the simple four step formula below to ensure you’re making the most of your daily foam rolling.

  1. Search—use the foam roller to slowly (about 1 inch per second) roll the length of the muscle. This gets the muscle prepped, increases circulation, and helps to identify tender spots (adhesions, trigger points, knots)
  2. Destroy—hold pressure on 2-3 of the most tender spots along the length of the muscle. A “tender spot” is something you would rate as a 6-8 on a pain scale of 1-10
  3. Mobilize—while holding pressure, perform a movement different than rolling up and down. Try a cross friction, which is performed by shifting the muscles across the roller. The roller should be made with a surface that will grip the clothing or skin to allow a dragging force to be created (not PVC pipe). Father of Orthopaedic Medicine, James Cyriax stated that cross friction is the best method to reduce adhesions and scar tissue and to restore movement to the muscles (Cyriax, 1982). Another great technique to incorporate is “pin-and-stretch.” Pin-and-stretch is very similar to wringing out a wet towel. While still holding pressure on the roller, move the joint just on the opposite side of the roller. For example, when rolling the calf muscles, perform ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion movements; if rolling the quadriceps or the hamstrings, perform knee flexion and extension.
  4. Flush—finally, finish up by performing a few slow rolling motions to flush out the area. This would be similar to step 1, rolling about an inch per second, but roll the entire length of the muscle and don’t worry about stopping on tender spots.

When rolling to increase the length of a muscle that has been identified as short, follow up with function. Studies have suggested that static stretching after foam rolling is the best way to increase the flexibility (Skarabot, et al., 2015). Additionally, adding length to tight spots doesn’t guarantee optimal function. Vincent et al. (2013) found that for both acute and chronic pain, individuals should follow up with exercise. A few basic exercises concentrated on strengthening weak muscles and total body movements will ensure you and your clients coordinate that newly found mobility into daily activities!

For a more extensive list of foam rolling techniques, strategies, and to find an NASM CEU Approved foam rolling course near you, visit TriggerPoint’s Education page.

 

 

See Kyle Stull live and in person at NASM Optima 2017 as he presents: TriggerPoint Myofascial Compression Techniques for Injury Prevention and Better Movement

 

 

 

References

Cheatham, S.W., Kolber, M.J., Cain, M., & Lee, M. (2015). The effects of self-myofascial release using a foam roll or roller massager on joint range of motion, muscle recovery, and performance: A systematic review. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 10(6), 827-838.

Cyriax, J. (1982). Textbook of orthopaedic medicine: Diagnosis of soft tissue lesions (Vol. 1.). London: Elsevier.

Kalichman, L., & David, C.B. (2017). Effect of self-myofascial release on myofascial pain, muscle flexibility, and strength: A narrative review. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 21, 446-451.

Salvo, S.G. (2007). Massage Therapy: Principles and Practices (3rd Ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier.

Schleip, R., Duerselen, L., Vleeming, A., Naylor, I.L., Lehmann-Horn, Zorn, A., et al. (2012). Strain hardening of fascia: Static stretching of dense fibrous connective tissue can induce a temporary stiffness increase accompanied by enhanced matrix hydration. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies, 16, 94-100

Skarabot, J., Beardsley, C., & Stirn, I. (2015). Comparing the effects of self-myofascial release with static stretching on ankle range-of-motion in adolescent athletes. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 10(2), 203-212.

Sullivan, K.M., Silvey, D.B., Button, D.C., & Behm, D.G. (2013). Roller-massager application to the hamstrings increases sit-and-reach range of motion within five to ten seconds without performance impairments. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 8(3), 228-236.

Vincent, K., Maigne, J., Fischhoff, C., Lanlo, O., & Dagenais, S. (2013). Systematic review of manual therapies for nonspecific neck pain. Joint Bone Spine, 80(5), 508-515.

Source http://blog.nasm.org/

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Zuzka Light Full Body Workout

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Photos via IG @zuzkalight

Here’s a couple Zuzka Light‘s easy pace Stretch & Tone workout for Summer Shreds. Zuzka is one of the top influencers in fitness today and has one of the most gorgeous bodies in the world.


It’s nice to take your body through gentle exercise and give your muscles chance to recover and become even stronger.

Also: The Fitness Gurls Podcast: Christmas Abbott





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Health & Fitness

Eight Amazing Benefits of Teaching Yoga

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Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, but the fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% job satisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey.

Job Satisfaction
In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that “My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.” Lack of personal satisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremely harmonious atmosphere to work in.

Also, check out: Danica Patrick has a strong Yoga game

For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted into the health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club, ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation.

There’s always something to do, but the job itself is very gratifying.

Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers

Your self-esteem improves as you find solutions for the pain management of others, ailments, fitness, stress management, positive thinking, etc.

The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of self-improvement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helping someone find the right path is beyond words.

You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal body weight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too, can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves your class without a headache or a backache they came in with.

Your Own Health
As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your daily ups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, and exercise on a daily basis.

As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students and teaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you to live longer and live better.

There is no Shortage of Work
When the working world is in the “9 to 5” mode, you have many opportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, Senior Centers, Medical Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you to teach them, with any free time you have.

Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytime off-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in a geographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a
Yoga teacher through our on-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer service due to time restraints.

The object is to contact them. This is where your post cards come in handy, if you don’t have a personal referral.

Continuing Education
Yes, learning new things keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just not enough time to learn it all.

It’s not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends, colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makes giving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way.

Time
You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longer have to.

You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in traffic during rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and what days you have off. You will come to the realization that your time is your own.

Independence
Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your own destiny and that of your family.

Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it is better to try than to have never tried.

Success
No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term and long-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.

You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them daily and visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should be specific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.

Review your long-term goals at least once every season and every year.
Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourself make rapid success in this way.

Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: You may want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year, get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal setting is realistic and beneficial to mankind.

That is the key ñ If you choose a goal that will benefit others, you will surely achieve it.

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Health & Fitness

Stay Healthy – Learn To Meditate

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Wondering how people who live to be 100 with a great quality of life do it? In his book, “Aging Well,” Harvard researcher, George Vaillant, M.D., found out just what centurions do. They cultivate a sense of peace, well-being and maintain a positive attitude. How? Here’s one of their biggest secrets: meditation. What’s ironic about meditation is, it has just become known in the West as a healing technique, but it has been practiced for ages in the East. So in my quest to give you easy sensible ways to purify your energy, I’ll begin by defining meditation, then I’ll show you how easy it is to apply to your daily routine.

Also, check out: Effective Gain From Yoga

Meditation Defined
Meditational exercises primarily use the experience of the body and thought as a means to reconnect with the environment and its healing power. Meditation, when practiced frequently, has been proven to promote inner peace and wellness. Meditation is also a mental practice in which the mind is directed to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to nature and creates a sense of unity or one-ness with it.

This unit has been shown to increase communication with the spirit of the body. It has also been known to allow positive thoughts in and to stimulate positive physiological and psychological effects. Meditation techniques are easy to learn and can easily be incorporated into any lifestyle. If practiced regularly, meditation will bring balance to your body and mind.

General benefits of meditation and breathing exercises include:
– Deep inner peace
– Improved self-esteem
– Increased creativity
– Physical health/healing
– Reduced medical care
– Slowing/reversal of aging
– Reversing of heart disease
– Stimulation of the body’s immune system
– Reduced stress

I have found there is really no one right ways to meditate. Here are a couple of my favorite meditational exercises that will get you started. Remember, there is no wrong path here. Try these, or simply sit in silence for 20 minutes, daily. You’ll be glad you did.

Meditative Grounding Exercise
– Sit with your legs crossed in a comfortable (Indian-style) position with your hands relaxed on you lap. Close your eyes and imagine a beam of light dropping from the base of your spine through the earth and connecting you to its center.

– Allow this beam of light to expand in width until it is wider than your own body and envelopes it. This is your personal space.

This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are anchored to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you are. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.

Energy Cleaning Exercise
Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse this personal space. Often we collect other people’s energies and are not aware of it. We do this both through interaction with others and basic activities of daily living.

– To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine holding a brush and sweeping away the debris.

– Allow the debris to fall to the ground and become washed away. Let the light from the previous exercise envelop your body and spread its healing energy to the edge of your space, forming a protective force field around you.

Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will keep you grounded, define your personal boundaries and declare your space. Then choose who and what you wish to enter you space, keeping disease and illness out.

Breathing Exercise
– Follow your breath as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.

– If you find yourself past 10, acknowledge this and begin again at one from wherever you are.

– Imagine your body’s cells being replaced with fresh, pure oxygen and positive healing energy from this power source. Picture yourself exhaling old cells, stress, illness and worries.

– Let your thoughts pass through your mind like drifting clouds. Let them in and gently let them pass through. If the mind should harbor a negative thought, refocus on the breath.

– Thank any persistent negative thoughts for coming into your mind then gently let them go.

– Listen only for the positive, pronounced voice; the voice of your body.

Retrieve Your Energy Exercise
Since foreign energy often resides in your space, let’s also assume that you leave energy in other places. After completing the preceding exercises it is necessary to re-energize and call energy back.

– Imagine you have an energy magnet used to attract your energy back to you. Visualize energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, health and empowerment.

– Allow a few minutes for the process.

Journal Questions:
1. Record in your journal any problem or trouble you may be having ñ emotional, physical or otherwise. Let problems go and give them over to your meditation.

2. Do you notice solutions coming to you throughout the day? Do you notice with regular meditation that your body and mind are becoming calmer and clearer?

Ideas To Consider:

1. Make time for your spirit daily. Exhibit behaviors and self talk that show your reverence for yourself.

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