In Part 1 of this blog series, I spoke of the need to have Recovery & Regeneration strategies in place if want to play your best golf this summer. Strategy #1 was a passive form of regeneration. Sleep. Getting enough hours and during the right time frame (10 pm to 6 am) is key to giving your body and mind time to recover.
In Part 2 I will cover the next most important recovery & regeneration strategy which is Self-Myofascial Release (or what is commonly called “Foam Rolling”. Unlike sleep, which is passive, SMR is active. It requires some effort on your part. You are massaging yourself. It takes a few tools, a little skill, and a little time. But it’s totally worth it as you will feel like new when you’re done.
Benefits of SMR
SMR is a form of regeneration that aids in the repairing of muscle cells and other soft tissue that have been damaged from the hard work of training and playing. It helps to restore damaged living tissue to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.
- SMR works to ‘unwind’ your body’s myofascial system, restoring it to its natural balance and alignment.
- It helps clear restrictions in the body, thus allowing it the opportunity to work better as a whole and more efficiently.
For those who don’t already know, your myofascial system (muscle + fascia) is the web of connective tissue that spreads throughout the body and surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve blood vessel, and organ to the cellular level.
Facts on Fascia
- Fascia is composed mostly of water and two kinds of protein (collagen and elastin).
- Fascia sheathes enclose individual muscle fibers, and like a “web” emerges at the end to form tendons. This means, that practically speaking, muscle and fascia are one!
- Fascia then is the unifying factor of the body’s movement system.
“The fluidity of your fascia will determine the fluidity of your movement.”_Brett The Golf Guy
Keeping Fascia Healthy-Tools of the Trade.
The first part of fascial health is hydration. Since fascia, as is the rest of your body is approximately 70% water it’s essential to maintain optimal hydration levels. I suggest 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day, minimum.
Once we have covered that we are ready to roll-literally. You will need some type of massage tool to massage your muscles and fascia.
These days there are many types of tools to choose from to perform SMR, and each one has something different to offer. The general rule of use is when first beginning to learn SMR use something on the softer side until your body’s tissues get accustomed to the pressure. (I suggest a massage stick (like The Tiger’s Tail, a soft white foam roller, or a soft-covered roller such as “The Big One”, also made by Tiger’s Tail USA.
Once you’ve been rolling for a while you can eventually progress to harder and more aggressive rollers that have grooves or projections in them. These provide deeper pressure into the tissue and can take a bit of time to learn to tolerate.
SMR or Foam Rolling is one part of the exercise paradigm where discomfort is encouraged. If it doesn’t hurt a little it’s probably not doing your body much good.
“Find it and Grind It”
General guidelines for use:
- Move your body over the object searching for what is commonly called a “trigger point”. This can simply be thought of as a place in the body that needs to be kneaded. Find it, grind it, and move on. Use several times a day if necessary.
- SMR release works well both before and after activity.
Brett’s Bottom Line:
Regeneration through tissue manipulation is crucial for the body to experience the gains made through training. To get superior performance out of your training, you need to combine quality work with quality rest. The better and more rapidly you recover, the more quickly your body adapts to the stress of exercise and the sooner you can go play another round of golf.
Take your golf game to the next level:
To schedule your one-hour SMR lesson call: (917) 596-8485