Massage, Mobilise - THEN Move!
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Ever feel like your workout routine is making you tight? You’re getting stronger, your endurance is improving but its hard to start your workout each time because you feel tightness or short muscles as a result of a previous workout and and towards the end of your session either localised or distal pain or discomfort is experienced around your joints and tendons?
Usually lacking joint mobility (due to poor muscle flexibility) is the main factor that holds us back in our workouts and improving our all round abilities and efficiencies. Without even discussing whether your workout program is appropriate for you, (as that is an entirely different debate), we can all agree that developing further dysfunctions, pains and injuries is something that we must avoid in order to maintain continuity and consistency with our workouts and therefore continue to progress and improve.
So how do we ensure that we are in a fit state to move and perform at our best? It’s simple - Massage, Mobilise, then Move.
MASSAGE - (Self) Myo-fascial release or deep tissue massages are the first step. Muscles should never just be stretched if already tight. To understand why simply think of an elastic resistance band or a stretchy rope. There is a loosely tied knot in this rope. Then you pull it. What happens? The loose knot gets tighter and tighter and tighter. When we replace the word rope for ‘muscle tissue’ suddenly it becomes clear that stretching knotted muscle is only going to increase the tension of the knot and make it more difficult to remove and painful to work with. So whether alone or assisted, massage of all short/tight zones is imperative as the first step towards mobilisation and functionality.
MOBILISE - With knot free muscles we can now work effectively to mobilise our joints. Various stretching techniques can be implemented, whether it be static stretching, PNF activity or even more dynamic or ballistic movements. What is important to remember is that we want to be stretching muscle tissues and NOT contorting our joints and ligaments. The key here is understanding the full range of motion of the joint, and also being aware of the point where mobility becomes hyper-mobility. Stretch your muscles to their fullest within the normal/mobile range of the joint, but avoid contortion as stretched and therefore damaged ligaments and joints can not be repaired.
MOVE! - Free of restrictions and mobilised to our fullest our this is the time to start working on our movement abilities and applicable strength. Chose exercises that will improve our basic primary functions and movement patterns of walking, running, throwing and punching. Initially the focus should be on the mind muscle connections to activate/stabilise the right parts of your body at the right time, and then once these sequences become more subconscious turn up the heat for faster, more powerful and longer periods of work to improve your all round endurance and efficiency.
For further guidance of the correct way to implement any three of these stages, or questions about other workout elements, feel free to get in touch below and discover how the ISRACTIVE workout system and personal training can be tailored and applied to your needs.