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Foam Roller – Self Myofascial Release and Me!

Foam Roller, SMR and me!

Training and Recuperation – In its simplest form this is how we fight the aging process, improve our fitness levels, manage our weight, and prepare for activities. Most of us are very good about the Training aspect of this approach, but fail miserably on the Recuperation portion. Let’s take a look at what happens during training that makes the recuperation phase at least as important if not more important than the training.

When exercising regularly and at adequate levels of intensity (As One) there is a cost for all of that output. Substrates stored in the body are depleted to create the energy necessary to perform the work. Although the metabolic processes that take place are pretty efficient, they still yield by products that if not removed from the working tissues will alter the environment and ultimately if work is continued without full removal diminish the quality of the tissue. Likewise, the work done damages the muscles directly, this is what the body responds to and tries to build bigger stronger tissue to withstand the work, provided the tissue has the time and the recuperative practices to facilitate the healing process!

This is the main reason for us taking the time at the end of class to foam roller! Your body’s signal for stressed tissues is pain/discomfort. If you are rolling and discomfort is present – that is a sign that the tissues need a little extra help in expediting the healing process. Time off doesn’t necessarily mean that the tissue will bounce back either, because another reaction to training is the tightening down of the musculature in response to the repeated stress created by training. So unless the tissue is massaged and stretched after strenuous exercise, eventually even with adequate rest between sessions the tissues will tighten down. Add in poor sleep, nutrition, etc. and the combination dramatically changes the health of the working tissue.

So, we encourage everyone to not only utilize the time in class to roll extensively (in other words don’t run out! It only takes 10 minutes!!!), but to take the time outside of class to roll on a regular basis. The goal is for your tissue to fully release within each rolling session – this will indicate that appropriate levels of recovery are being met and indirectly reflect a progression forward in your training status.


Breaking down the Squat!

Let’s take a look at the squat – an amazing movement and deserving of the title as ” the grandfather ” of all movements. It was the first movement you needed to do in order to walk. Watch a child who is beginning to walk and then marvel at the perfection of their squat. Amazing, if you can perform a squat regularly as well as you did when a young child, the chances of developing a structural injury will be greatly reduced!

If you could do only one exercise – this is it! Look at what a properly performed squat will do for you. By properly performed we mean:
1. Feet shoulder width apart
2. Toes pointed out ~15 degrees off center
3. Heels glued to the ground
4. Lower body to a position where the thighs are parellel to the floor.
5. Head and Chest up with shoulders depressed.

What the squat tells us if performed correctly is this:
1. Proper mobility of the ankle, knee and hip joints.
2. Adequate flexibility of calves, quads, hamstrings, and hip musculature
3. Appropriate control of your core.
4. Muscular balance of right and left sides of the body.

What the squat will do for you:
1. Stimulates the central nervous system more than any other exercise.
2. Improves balance and coordination.
3. Stimulates improved bone density.
4. Stimulates muscular development.
5. Improves connective tissue development.
6. Challenges the mind and builds toughness.
7. Whole body conditioning.

I always say “you cannot get fit unless you squat and squat a lot”. If you can run 20 miles but not lift your body out of a low squat, what good is it. But, if you can squat half your body weight 50 times – not much you won’t be able to do!!!! 

Let’s squat – time for a squat workout – that will be the next day 2!!!!!!!!!!