'Hurt so Good' Self-Myofascial release
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Friday, October 30, 2009

'Hurt so Good' Self-Myofascial release

by Chad Butts at 11:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Training, Preparation, and Health, General, Getting Started

Muscle overuse injury is common in cycling and triathlon. The nature of endurance sports requires repetition after repetition, nearly 17,000 cycles for a 3H workout. Additionally, weight training in the off-season, while effective at correcting imbalanced musculature, can also cause similar problems. Muscles are bombarded with acute tears, pulls, micro-trauma, and hypoxia during training. These conditions result in the formation of scar tissue.

Without attention, the continuous build-up of this scar tissue causes adhesion's to form between muscle fibers, between the muscle and surrounding fascia (sheaths covering each muscle), and between adjacent fascia. All of this results in muscles that are shorter, weaker, and tighter. This then leads to tendinitis (due to increased tension placed on the tendons), nerve issues (due to trapped nerves), reduced range of motion, numbness, pain, and loss of strength.

Proper maintenance of the musculoskeletal system to prevent this "seizing" of the muscle requires routine stretching and massage. The problem is the time and cost of such maintenance.

However, there are time and money saving solutions that are effective. Self massage and rolling stick type techniques are good, but in order to get deeper into the muscle and tease the muscle and fascia apart you need to use some weight bearing techniques. Foam rollers and similar products such as "The Grid" from Trigger Point Therapy are the sort of tools required to accomplish a deep massage by yourself.

If you have never experienced foam rolling before I can assure you it will be painful, but no more than a deep tissue massage would, and at least you are in control. Minutes after your session you will feel the benefits. Muscles will feel invigorated and warm as the blood flows through the muscle fibers that were previously stuck together. There will be a break in period for the muscles, and you may feel sore 2-3 hours later, but with regular sessions this abates.

Within a 10-15 minute routine you can treat all the muscles in the leg as effectively as going to a masseuse. While the art of massage and a trained masseuse detecting problem areas will always be in demand, daily maintenance to prevent these problems from occurring is fast and easy to do yourself.

While there are many products that can accomplish this, based on my years of experience I use and recommend those by Trigger Point Therapy. If you would like to see more information about Trigger Point Therapy Products you can visit their website at www.tptherapy.com. If you would like to purchase these products mention "velonation" and receive 10% off through www.enduranceWERX.com. Regardless of the products you choose, this is one of the finer points you should pay attention to if you intend on becoming a serious athlete.

Chad holds a Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Cardiac Rehabilitation from Ithaca College. He is a certified Health and Fitness Instructor with the American College of Sports Medicine and has over 10 years experience coaching, testing, and consulting individuals. Chad is a USA cycling certified coach and has been published several times in The Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Visit www.enduranceWERX.com for more information.


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