In order to get the real power out of your tools, it’s important to know what technique will work best for your goals. Besides that, you can use your mobility time a lot more efficiently.
Different goals need different approaches.
Keep in mind that all of these should be done at a moderate intensity. Holding your breath and gritting your teeth are subtle indicators that you’re going at it too hard. Slow down, ease up, and you’ll actually get better results over the long haul.
Tried and True: Pin and hold.
Place the tool in a spot, and hold for around 60 seconds. You’re getting two huge benefits here. One, you signal the nervous system to relax the tissue. We have tons of pressure-sensitive cells that respond to the roller by relaxing and opening. Secondly, you’re squeezing fluid out of the tissue, and moving it up the chain. ‘Old’ fluid gets squeezed out, and a fresh supply moves back in after you’re finished. There’s a mountain of science behind what’s going on here, but the fact is that it works. Sometimes it takes some patience, because most folks just don’t go the recommended 60 seconds or more. Try it out!
Big Fascial Movement: Compress, Shear, and Lengthen.
By simply pressing on a tissue, you’re not really getting a fascial ‘release’. In other words, there isn’t a physical change in the tissue length, because fascia needs a shearing force to create length. That’s where this technique comes in, and if you just follow the name and order, you can get the benefit.
Compress: Place a roller underneath the tissue and compress lightly.
Shear: Add some twist, or shear (sideways motion) to the same spot.
Lengthen: Move the nearest joint. IE, if you’re working on the back of your calves, move the ankle joint back and forth.
Recover Like a Pro.
When you think about flushing, you can think ‘quick and dirty’. It’s not about precision here, it’s about covering big areas of muscle quickly. To flush your quads, start at the knee, pressure up towards the hip, then repeat. You want to go more for reps than pressure, and keeping if fairly light is a good way to go. Generally speaking, you always want to flush back towards the center, because that’s the way your lymph is going.