This video contains scenes from actual session. All results are not typical but I have not seen anyone not improve on the spot. The degree of improvement is individual.
Mobility is essential for humans in general however, for athletes, which need to use their bodies in very specific ways, it is crucial to have full ranges of motion and mobility of the body. Proper mobility is a combination of flexibility of the muscle (soft tissue) along with the physical ability of the joint to allow for movement. The challenge is, once muscles get tight and remain tight for a extended period of time, the body reduces it's range and subsequently the joint's motion is decreased. Over time, the body becomes locked within this reduced, and in some cases, continues to diminish until eventually pain or injury alerts one to the issue.
What’s the Fuss about PROJECT MOBILITY ?
Essentially, foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage, that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue. These adhesions can “create points of weakness or susceptibility in the tissue,” according to Chris Howard, C.S.C.S. and Eric Williams at Horsepower Performance Academy. “If the muscle isn’t contracting uniformly from end-to-end, it could lead to injury and pain.”
The practice of foam rolling is actually a form of self-massage and is called self-myofascial release. Myofascia is the connective tissue network that runs through your body. It wraps around your internal organs and muscles and holds it all in place. When this system is healthy, it intuitively distributes stress from forces evenly all throughout the body, reducing the chances of excessively loading one part of the body and causing injury.
Think of myofascia like a thin layer or sheet of thin muscle so thin, you stretch and kneed it like dough, yet it's strong and resilient. However, if one part of the layer is broken, damaged, worn, overstretched or tight, the mesh cannot allow the muscle its holds to contract and therefore move properly. Instead, strain and tension has to be distributed across the body differently to account for the weakened section. In other words, other parts of the body are forced to pick up the slack of the weakened section.
Overtime this causes a host of problems which may be seen or unseen to the untrained eye. Take Isaac for instance. Only once he started experiencing pain has he realized how inflexible he really was. Sure he has been told countless times by me that he was tight and he stretched with me at least 2 days per week and a few more at track. But in spite of a great stretch routine, Isaac's flexibility improved to a degree and sort of remained fairly unchanged, again with debilitating back pains, it was the most likely place to start.
After assessing Isaac's mobility, it was clear that his lack of range of motion in the hips, was due to low back, quad and hamstring tightness. He also shows considerable tightness in the shoulder region as a results of tight pecs and lats.
THE 3 KEYS
My focus for Isaac is to release his body progressively focusing on 2 areas, hips and shoulders. These are the two major mobilizers and the best place to start as the pains and symptoms are due to the conditioning of the soft tissue (muscle, ligaments and tendons) surrounding the joints.
STEP 1: RECOGNIZE
The first step is to get a good idea what area or muscle group the pain is originating from. This sometimes requires one to work backwards from the pain until tracking the point from which it is referred. Whether it's referred or local, the first step is to identify the starting point. Begin by rolling the area using a broad rolling technique, simply allowing as much surface of the body to meet the surface of the foam. Once this is down 10 times or so, you will began to notice the tenderness or what would be potential tight muscles or possibly even triggers, waiting to be pulled or strained.
STEP 2: RELEASE
Once I have Isaac all mapped out I will began to hone in on the most tender area within the muscle group. This tends to be the most effective place to begin. In the event you have many tender areas, simply choose the one that's the most tender and begin there. In the case of a beginner, I recommend that you begin with an area or target or trigger that isn't out of your range when it comes to pain threshold.
I generally begin with the lower body area and roll in the following order:
Once I have begun working on the lower, I will introduce one area of the upper allowing for the student to do their body work in alternating between upper and lower simiiar to that resembling their workout.
STEP 3: RESTORE
Self-myofascial release offers so many benefits to everyone, not just athletes. I’m a firm believer in incorporating it regularly into my daily schedule. I start and finish my days with the roll. I do a simple diagnosis that I also teach my students, 10-15 minutes minimum a day, 30 - 45 for those with mobility issues.
My session in the video below took well over an hour, with the combination tactics involved in the HP mobility training WOD's. Watch as I demonstrate the Project, The Methods and of course the results.
In summary, there are 5 really good reasons you want to consider recognizing whether you or your child has mobility issues and getting the proper attention.