Rolling, rolling, rolling… keep on rolling!
In our day-to-day existence of life, the average person spends a vast majority of their life in a sedentary (seated) environment. Nothing wrong with this, it’s just life and how it is!
The problem with this seated posture on our “biological structure” (our bodies tissues) is that our tissues moulds, adapts and remodels to what the environment is exposed to, in a condition called Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (SAID principle).
This means our connective tissue, skin and muscles in and around our hips and hamstrings become “squashed” against the chair. The human body is incompressible, therefore when we do compress, it displaces. This results in muscle fibres becoming de-hydrated, pushing necessary and critical water out of the channels between our muscle connections, and in-between each individual muscle fibre in the muscle.
What Does This Mean?
Well, if you have muscles stripped of their fluid, it begins to “glue” muscle fibres together resulting in “sticky and restricted” motion and muscles that are stuck together, move together. Which leads to “expensive metabolic cost”- energy ineffective movement.
What Can We Do To Address This?
During periods of rest between training, why not spend time Foam Rolling these affected areas? How Do I Foam Roll?
- Work the muscle - Top to bottom, lateral and medial borders, basically the entire muscle.
- Go SLOWLY - Going slow allows the parasympathetic nervous system response to allow influx of necessary fluid return, going quickly stimulates the sympathetic nervous system- your body tightens up and fluid cannot replenish the area.
- Use Pressure - As much as you can tolerate. But remember too much pressure makes the body stiffen up restricting flow of fluids.
- Vary the angles - Position your foot (to accentuate more medial/lateral) and vary the foam roll angle (oblique as well as straight up and down), this “variability” technique ensures fully integrated hydration of the area in concern.
- Do this as often as can – However, we’re all very busy, so if you only have time to do it once a day, do it before a workout! Doing this will improve performance by efficient motion and taking out the restriction your injury decreases significantly, so a double benefit!
Make Foam Rolling part of your training regime, it makes a huge difference to your training.
The Author: Paul Edmonson, CPD Trainer/Tutor for The Training Room.