You may have heard the term “foam rolling,” lately, or seen some at the gym performing it. Rolling is a simple way to increase joint mobility, muscle flexibility and reduce muscle pain. Today I have a guest post by Spring Faussett, the inventor of Tiger Tail USA. If you are looking for a good roller, I would I highly recommend their product. We use them exclusively with all our customers. Plus, I love that it is a woman owned company and the passion that Spring has for the product and customer service. If you would like to receive a special 25% HealthWorks Kinesiology discount from Tiger Tail, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you set up. I really hope you enjoy the article!
-Kevin Winn, Executive Director of HealthWorks Kinesiology.
Muscle care for aching muscles
Whether you are new to exercise, like to do it on the weekends, or you have a wall full of finishers’ medals, it is critical to include self-care techniques to reduce your risk for injury, recover after training sessions, and be ready to another day of fun (or in the case of most people – just want to wake up in the morning without hurting so much!).
What is self-care? Self-care is simply learning to use tools and techniques to take care of ourselves. One of the best self-care techniques is myofascial release which can be achieved by “rolling” out trigger points.
So what is a trigger point and how do I fix them?
A trigger point, also known as a muscle knot, is a tight spot that can be felt in the belly of the muscle. It can cause tightness in the muscle, will feel tender and may refer pain to another part of the body. Over-use and over-training may contribute to their formation. Unfortunately, lots of people often have lots of knots!
You may not know that knots exist until you press on them. Once you have located a knot, the next step is to fix it. Knots can be eliminated by applying pressure directly to the knot in the muscle for about 20 seconds. The pressure should be enough for you to rate your discomfort at a 5 or 6 on a scale of 10. You may need to treat it several times to reduce the knot. If pain or discomfort from muscle knots continues it may be advised to seek out trigger point or massage therapy.
Roll With It
Rolling out muscles can help relieve muscles knots, aches, cramping, spasms, and stiffness. One of our favorite tools to use is the Tiger Tail hand-held foam roller. Rolling out muscles can be done pre-activity, during activity, and post-activity. For more information on rolling visit www.tigertailusa.com
The major muscles that most should roll include the calf muscles, shin muscles, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, glutes, and muscles located on the sides of the hip and bottoms of the feet. Using a Tiger Tail hand-held foam roller on these muscles is beneficial in reducing knots and sore muscles. Holding the Tiger Tail in both hands (see the photo above), apply about 10 pounds of pressure to the muscle being worked. As you roll over the muscle with a back and forth motion, relax the muscles and roll 10-20 times on each muscle group.
Knots can be stubborn and may take several sessions of rolling. I like to roll 2-3 times each day to keep my muscles flexible and reduce muscle discomfort after a long work day or weekend full of yard work. Before you go to work and before you go to bed, spend 2-3 minutes rolling out your muscles. You’ll start to feel a whole lot better – and you’ll notice that all of those aches and pains will start to feel less and less annoying. Don’t forget to roll your family or your pets – they get sore too. Roll On!
—Spring Faussett –Founder and Inventor, Tiger Tail USA
—Julie Zuleger Ph.D., ATC, CMTPT