07/21/2017 by Brett Cohen 0 Comments
Happy Muscles = Happy Golfer! Golf Fitness, NYC
In 2007 I was first introduced to a tool now known to me as a Tiger’s Tail. The name given to the black and orange massage stick resembling the same.
I purchased the device from a Perform Better representative at a fitness conference and quite honestly, didn’t really know what it was for. But since I learned of the importance of tissue quality, the Tiger’s Tail Massage Stick and other devices that are used for self-massage have become an indepensible part of my fitness instruction and what I believe to be the most important aspect of the fintess paradigm.
Self-massage tools are used to apply pressure to your fascia and muscles. The process is known as Self Myo-fascial Release or SMR for short.
What Is Fascia Anyway???
Fascia is composed of mostly water and two kinds of protein called collagen and elastin. Fascia is densely woven, covering and penetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery, vein and organ. It is one continuous structure that exists without interruption. Each part of the body is connected to every other part of the body by fascia.
What Role Does Fascia Play In The Body?
Fascia not only connects and shapes every muscle, organ, blood vessel and nerve, it also intertwines with the fibers of muscles. This means-that practically speaking, muscle and fascia are one! Fascia is a transmitter of tension and since muscles connect to other muscles through fascial trains, it plays an important role in determining the range of motion of each joint. If the fascia is abnormal or injured (meaning it contains trigger points/knots/adhesions, etc.) that athlete will never achieve optimal levels of flexibility, strength or power, no matter how much stretching they perform.
"Think of fascia as the inner skin of the body"-Guy Voyer, World Renowned French Osteopath
"Fascia is a 3D cobweb that holds everything together"- Thomas Myers, Author of Anatomy Trains
How To Keep Fascia Healthy For Optimal Health and Performance
When fascia is unhealthy it can be irritated and inflamed, often causing pain or discomfort somewhere in the body along that anatomy train. Unhealthy fascia doesn’t just get short, it also gets dense. Fascia can become dense due to: physical trauma (such as a fall), surgery, infection, disease, strain, dehydration, poor posture, or just the cumulative effects of repetitive stress/overuse. When fascia is unhealthy it becomes tight, restricted and loses pliability. Chronically inflamed or thickened fascia results in a decrease in range of motion and altered biomechanics.
When the fascia is healthy it has the ability to stretch and move without restriction. Since fascia is made primarily of water, the first and most important part of fascial health is:
1. Hydration-1/2 your body weight in ounces/day minimum.
2. Manipulation (pressure)-by putting pressure on tender areas until the tenderness diminishes.
3. Elongation (stretching).
Tools Of The Trade
Since the body isn’t flat it requires diffently shaped tools to get to all the places your body needs massage. Imagine going to a dentist who only had one drill? A BIG ONE~I think I’d find another dentist.
The Tiger’s Tail Massage Stick is a great all round tool that allows the user to apply as much pressure as desired. It’s small, portable and when you know how, only takes 3 – 5 minutes to cover most of your body in the first stage of your golf warm-up process. For detailed directions on how to use the Tiger’s Tail Massage Stick as part of your warm-up, download my Dynamic Warm-up For Golf Guide by clicking here:
I like to use a roller and get down on the ground as part of my recovery & regeneration process. This requires a bit of instruction so you position yourself properly on the roller and get to all the places you need to address. The "BIG ONE" is a medium density roller that does a great job of applying just enough pressure but not too much that you can’t stay on the roller. For more information about how SMR helps with recovery and regeneration check out this blog: https://nygolffitnessguru.com/2017/07/07/this-will-help-you-play-more-golf-part-2-golf-fitness-nyc/
My favorite Tiger’s Tail USA tool is the Tiger Ball! I call it soap on a rope.. Remember those?
Sometimes life can be a pain in the neck and when it is I find myself a wall and the Tiger Ball. It’s a great tool to get to those pesky upper trapezius muscles that hold so much stress for the average person. And when those muscles are short and tight it makes it impossible to keep your eyes on the ball as the connect the neck to the shoulder girdle. The ball also works great on the feet as well as the pecs (the chest muscles).
Brett’s Bottom Line:
I think the most important thing you can do to say fit is to have healthy fascia and muscles. They are the movers of the body.
The process of SMR allows the muscle-fascia connection to contract uniformly, thereby allowing the athlete to perform better. If you are not using a rolling routine currently you need to start NOW.. It will allow you to recover from the stress of exercise, the stress of life and improve your overall golf performance.
For more information on SMR and how I can help you Play Golf Better.. call (917) 596-8485 to claim your FREE Strategy Session.
Brett The Golf Guy