Why Muscle Flushing is Important for Runners
When you’re getting going on a new program, or pushing yourself to new limits, one of the easiest things you can do for general muscle health is supply your legs with fresh fluids. This happens naturally in the tissue (nutrition moves in, waste products move out), but we can speed things up with light flushing motions, getting you ready for the next run faster and more efficiently. Muscle Flushing is like putting a supercharger on the garbage truck... Same work, but faster.
Lighter is Better
When we use myofascial release for mobility and range of motion, we tend the hang out on tough spots for a minute or more. Why? Because we’re trying to affect the nervous system in a way that causes change, and that takes pressure and time. With muscle flushing, the goal is to move fluid quickly and efficiently. So, you don’t need a lot of pressure to get the job done, you need quick, light rolling motions that will help bring nutrition into the tissue and move waste products out.
Move Towards the Heart
By performing this technique, we’re trying to help assist fluid and blood circulation back towards the heart. This is important because the heart supplies its own pressure moving out towards the hands and feet, but it needs help from our muscles in pushing new fluid back. Have you ever felt your legs swell on a long plane ride? That's because the big muscles of your legs aren’t moving, which is restricting blood flow and causing your lower body to swell. If you spend a few minutes doing flushing motions with a tool like the RAD Rod towards your heart, the swelling will decrease and blood will begin to flow freely back to where it was trying to go.
Quick and Dirty
When you’re flushing, you’re trying to cover large areas of tissue in a quick and dirty manner. You don’t need to be very exacting, you just want to cover a large amount of surface area. For example, if you’re trying to flush your upper leg, simply make about 10 quick motions up and down your quadricep, then move to the hamstrings, then onto the calves, gradually covering the entire leg. After a few minutes of muscle flushing, you will feel less sore, more relaxed, and refreshed for the next run.