Roll, Release, React: Prepare Class for Movement

by Tanya Colucci, MS on Mar 23, 2011

Ignite

Use this self-myofascial-release routine in your next warm-up.

In recent years, self myofascial release (SMR) has become a hot topic. As more research comes out, we are learning how fascial restrictions affect and influence movement. Taking group fitness participants through SMR techniques in your warm-up may give them more freedom from joint stress and pain, and their recovery times may improve.

Myofascial release is a form of bodywork and stretching/self-treatment that improves posture, increases flexibility and reduces stress, tension and pain, while boosting athletic performance, energy levels and body awareness (Earls & Myers 2010). A simple SMR routine can improve neuromuscular efficiency and prepare tissue for more dynamic movements. Some muscles are prone to fascial restrictions and others to becoming “de-activated” as a result of chronic poor posture, injury and stress. This warm-up focuses on “freeing” restricted muscles with SMR and waking up deactivated muscles.

Tip: Buy 3-foot foam rollers and cut them into 1-foot sections for class purposes. You can also use tennis balls or buy specialized myofascial release tools.

Flexibility, Core, Balance and Reactivity Circuit

Self-Myofascial Release

Focus on the following areas:

  • hip flexor/iliotibial band
  • calf complex
  • latissimus dorsi
  • chest and upper trapezius

Hold foam roller, tennis ball or other SMR tool on tender spots for 30–120 seconds, spending 1–2 minutes on each body part. Move slowly over each area—about one inch per second. Gradually incorporate slight limb movement.

Lengthening/Mobility

Perform the following to assist with flexibility and balance:

  • Standing hip flexor stretch with arm abduction and thoracic rotation: hold for 30–60 seconds and then activate gluteus maximus to drive hips forward (3- to 5-second contraction). Repeat on opposite side.
  • Walking lunge with anterior reach and rotation: hold light medicine ball or dumbbell with arms extended. Lunge with anterior reach to outside of lunging leg and then come up to balance on one leg. Move at slow tempo: 4/2/1. Repeat on opposite side.

Activation Techniques

Perform the following to activate muscles:

  • side lunge to balance with scapular retraction
  • hip bridge from floor
  • T-plank (prone plank with rotation to side plank)
  • reactive squat jump

For first three exercises, move at slow tempo to engage deep core stabilizers, scapular stabilizers and hip extensors. Do 2–3 sets of 10–20 repetitions at 4/2/1 tempo or hold each one for 3–10 seconds. Teach optimal landing mechanics with squat jump, landing softly. Maintain neutral joint alignment of ankle, knee and lumbopelvic hip complex. Do 2–3 sets of 8–12 reps. Hold landing for 3–5 seconds (Clark et al. 2011).

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

References

Clark, M.A., et al. 2011. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Earls, J., &

Myers, T. 2010. Fascial Release for Structural Balance. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

IDEA Fitness Journal , Volume 8, Issue 4

© 2011 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Tanya Colucci, MS

Tanya Colucci, MS IDEA Author/Presenter

Tanya Colucci, MS, is a personal trainer and holistic lifestyle coach for Synergy Training Solutions at TAVO Total Health in the Washington, DC, area. She teaches nationally and is a master instructor...

0 Comments

Trending Articles

Eight Fascinating Facts About Fascia

Fascia has been enjoying the limelight in the fitness industry as one of the hottest topics in recent conference programming, workshops and ...

Nutrition Strategies for Stress and Pain Management

Stress and pain diminish quality of life for millionsofAmericansandcostbillionsin healthcare expenses and lost wages.

Concurrent Training Can Jeopardize Strength Gains

A lot of people do concurrent training— cardio and strength training within the same session—because it seems to achieve multiple goals at the same time. It’s also a proven fat-burne...

Wake Up Your Glutes!

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the gluteus maximus, the largest muscle in the body, often becomes inhibited and “turns off.” Ironically, this inhibition can be the culprit behin...

Sample Class: Farmhand Fitness

Several years ago, I attended an IDEA World Fitness Convention™ session led by Michol Dalcourt, director of the Institute of Motion. D...

Cardio and Creative Core

Group fitness participants can’t seem to get enough of creative core and cardiovascular exercises. If you need innovative ideas to cha...

Playing Hurt

When Gray Cook was a high-school athlete, his coaches would comment, “That Gray Cook sure can play hurt.” He had over 20 fractures before he was 18, what with his love of football and moto...

A Back-Pain Solution

Starting with the basics. Personal trainer Jamal Younis first met 38-year-old Jessica in August 2014. Jessica, a former competitive collegia...

Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis: More Than Just Bad Posture

Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportionate forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back, also known as the thorac...

Coronary Artery Disease: What Every Fitness Professional Needs to Know

Developing a thorough understanding of coronary artery disease (CAD) can help fitness professionals fight one of the world’s deadliest...

Next