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Weekly Updates

Spartan Race:

The race is on Saturday September 6th at Mountain Creek. Mountain Creek Resort is home to the largest ski hill in NJ which makes the perfect location for a Super Spartan. Matt and Erick have already signed up and want you to sign up too!

Register here

More info here

RADD Fitness: 

Advanced (9th Grade) Monday – Thursday at 10:30 AM

Intermediate (6th-8th Grade Co-Ed) Monday – Thursday at 11:30 AM

Kids (Elementary ages) Saturday at 11:30 AM

Advanced & Beginner can also come to any Saturday Group Class – 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30 AM. Email dan@raddcrossfitnsli.com if you are interested in this program. 

RADD Runners: Will meet Tuesday at 6PM!

Prime Paleo: You can order Paleo friendly meals for the week through Prime Paleo and your meals will be delivered to the gym.

There are a few steps.

1) Click the link to see the daily menu. Each meal comes with one protein and 2 sides (veggies). Email Rob (rob@raddcrossfitnsli.com) with your meal selections by Wednesday night using this spreadsheet.

2) We will bill your account by Sunday and you can pay online in Zen Planner.

3) Pick up your meals on Monday and enjoy!

5 Foam Rolling Mistakes to Avoid

These days, foam rollers are everywhere — the gym, your physical therapist’s office, your living room and even your suitcase. After all, foam rolling has emerged as the darling of the fitness world and the cure-all for many different aches.

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 LMT at Cressey Performance. “If the muscle isn’t contracting uniformly from end-to-end, it could lead to injury and pain.” Foam rolling also increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility, helping with recovery and improving performance.

Sounds great, right? Yes, foam rolling offers tremendous potential to relieve pain and help you move better — if used the right way. If not, you risk irritating, and possibly injuring, your body further.

Here’s a breakdown of five common mistakes people often make when using the foam roller.

Mistake #1: You roll directly where you feel pain. When we feel pain, our first inclination is to massage that spot directly. However, this might be a big mistake. “Areas of pain are the victims that result from tension imbalances in other areas of the body,” says Sue Hitzmann, MS, CST, NMT, manual therapist, creator and author of The MELT Method.

Let’s take the IT band, for example. Foam rolling is a commonly prescribed remedy for iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). While religiously rolling out your IT band might feel good, “the idea that you are going to relax or release the IT band is a misconception,” Hitzmann says. The phrase roll out your IT band itself makes it sound like you are rolling out a piece of dough, but your IT band is anything but pliable. It’s a remarkably strong piece of connective tissue, and research has shown that it cannot be released or manipulated by manual techniques such as foam rolling. “If you iron out areas of inflammation, you can increase inflammation. And if you are in pain, your body will be too stressed to repair itself,” says Hitzmann.

The fix: Go indirect before direct. “If you find a spot that’s sensitive, it’s a cue to ease away from that area by a few inches. Take time and work a more localized region around areas that feel sore before using larger, sweeping motions,” suggests Hitzmann. For the IT band, work on the primary muscles that attach to the IT band first — specifically the gluteus maximus (the largest muscle in the buttocks) and the tensor fasciae latae (a muscle that runs along the outer edge of the hip).

Mistake #2: You roll too fast. While it might feel great to roll back and forth on a foam roller quickly, you’re not actually eliminating any adhesions that way. “You need to give your brain enough time to tell your muscles to relax,” says Monica Vazquez, NASM certified personal trainer and USA Track and Field Running Coach.

The fix: Go slower so that the superficial layers and muscles have time to adapt and manage the compression. Feel where the tender spots are with the roller, and use short, slow rolls over that spot. “There’s no reason to beat up the whole muscle if there are only a few sensitive areas,” Howard says.

Mistake #3: You spend too much time on those knots. We’re often told that if you feel a knot, spend time working that spot with the foam roller. However, some people will spend five to 10 minutes or more on the same area and attempt to place their entire body weight onto the foam roller. If you place sustained pressure on one body part, you might actually hit a nerve or damage the tissue, which can cause bruising, according to Vazquez.

The fix: “Spend 20 seconds on each tender spot then move on,” Vazquez recommends. You can also manage how much body weight you use. For example, when working your IT band, plant the foot of your leg on the floor to take some of the weight off the roller.

Mistake #4: You have bad posture. Wait, what does your posture have to do with foam rolling? A lot. “You have to hold your body in certain positions over the roller,” says Howard, and that requires a lot of strength. “When rolling out the IT band, you are supporting your upper body weight with one arm.” When you roll out the quads, you are essentially holding a plank position. If you don’t pay attention to your form or posture, you may exacerbate pre-existing postural deviations and cause more harm.

The fix: Work with an experienced personal trainer, physical therapist or coach who can show you proper form and technique. Or, consider setting up your smartphone to videotape yourself while foam rolling, suggests Howard. That way, you can see what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong, like sagging in the hips or contorting the spine.

Mistake #5: You use the foam roller on your lower back. “The thing that makes me cringe is when people foam roll their lower back. You should never ever do that,” say Vazquez. Hitzmann agrees. “Your spine will freak out and all the spinal muscles will contract and protect the spine.”

The fix: According to Vazquez, you can use the foam roller on your upper back because the shoulder blades and muscles protect the spine. “Once you hit the end of the rib cage, stop.” If you want to release your lower back, try child’s pose or foam roll the muscles that connect to your lower back — the piriformis (a muscle located deep within the glutes), hip flexors and rectus femoris (one of the main muscles in your quads).

Most importantly, understand what the origin of your pain is before you start. Know what you are trying to achieve through foam rolling and how to do it properly. And don’t forget to stick with it. “To get the benefits of self-massage, it’s repeated exposure that’s most important,” says Howard. “You have to show up and put in the work.”

Read More: Huffington Post

 

What is a Foam Roller, How Do I Use It, and Why Does it Hurt?

Self-myofascial release, also known as “foam rolling,” has transformed from a once mysterious technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists to a familiar everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness. Recent information, technology, and affordable products have introduced an increasing array of training and recovery methods to the average person.

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.

Trigger Points

Trigger points are specific “knots” that form in muscles. They are unique and can be identified because they will refer pain. Pain referral, for our purposes, can most easily be described as the pain felt when pressure is applied to one area of the body, but the pain is felt or radiated in another area. A common example of a trigger point is felt while foam rolling your iliotibial (IT) band as it causes pain to radiate up to the hip or all the way down the leg to the ankle. When rolling or working on tight/sore muscles you will experience discomfort or pain. Think of it like the pain you get while stretching. It should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you are done it should feel better.

Why Am I Doing Something That Hurts?

For many, deep tissue massage is easy to understand. Ideally someone is able to work out the knots in your muscles, and it is commonly known this process may be uncomfortable and at times painful. Self-myofascial release provides the user the ability to control the healing and recovery process by applying pressure in precise locations, because only you can feel exactly what is happening. It is always recommended to consult with your physician or physical therapist for therapeutic/sharp pain and receive approval before starting self-myofascial release. For most people you will be cleared immediately and your doctor will encourage the practice.

Releasing trigger points helps to reestablish proper movement patterns and pain free movement, and ultimately, to enhance performance. Utilizing stretching alone is not always enough to release muscles tightness, which is why foam rollers have thrived on the mass market. Imagine a bungee cord with a knot tied into it and then envision stretching the cord. This creates tension, stretching the unknotted portion of the muscle and the attachment points. The knot, however, has remained unaltered. Foam rolling can assist in breaking up these muscle knots, resuming normal blood flow and function. The goal to any corrective or recovery technique is to get you back to the point of normal functioning, as if nothing was ever wrongWhen was the last time you trained like you were a teenager, going hard without a second thought, and injuries were something that only happened due to physical trauma like a 250lb linebacker hitting you?

What Causes Trigger Points and Tight Muscles?

Both have the same contributing factors including training, flexibility, movement patterns, posture, nutrition, hydration, rest, stress, and other lifestyle factors. Our bodies learn to compensate for what we throw at them every day, but we can exceed our ability to recover via too many intense workouts, poor posture, and other lifestyle factors. This is when you need assistance using recovery techniques or through seeing a professional. If you lived a perfect life with everything in balance, you would theoretically never have either of these conditions, however I’ve yet to meet that person.

How does Self-Myofacial Release Work?

Deep compression helps to break up or relax tight muscles and adhesions formed between muscle layers and their surroundings. Imagine you are tenderizing your own muscles. They should be soft and supple like a baby’s muscles. However, if our muscles are not taken care of properly we can experience loss of flexibility, adhesions, and painful movement. The compression allows normal blood flow to return and restoration of healthy tissue. Our bodies naturally want to be healthy and strong, but sometimes an extra boost is needed to achieve optimal muscle and tissue health.

How Do I Know What to Foam Roll and How Do I Do it?

Areas to focus on can be identified in two different ways. The first is through screenings. If you have followed the last two articles - squat screening and hip hinge screening- and have had struggles with either movement, you should include foam rolling in your workout and recovery program. You may target specific areas/muscles that relate to the movements you are focusing on. If after using the foam roller your movement improves, you have a more specific strategy to follow. Secondly, trigger points and tight muscles can be found through self-exploration, utilizing the list of techniques below and exploring each one.

To foam roll properly, apply moderate pressure to a specific muscle or muscle group using the roller and your bodyweight. You should roll slowly, no more than one inch per second.When you find areas that are tight or painful, pause for several seconds and relax as much as possible. You should slowly start to feel the muscle releasing, and after 5-30 seconds the discomfort or pain should lessen. If an area is too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area and gradually work to loosen the entire area. The goal is to restore healthy muscles – it is not a pain tolerance test. You may also use other objects to work on muscles such as a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, Theracane, or Trigger Point Therapy Kit.

Never roll a joint or bone. Avoid rolling your lower back. To target these muscles I recommend using tennis or lacrosse balls. If you are having issues with your neck, refer these issues to an appropriate medical professional, as these areas they can be more sensitive and require more advanced attention.

Read More: Breaking Muscle

Weekly Updates

Spartan Race:

The race is on Saturday September 6th at Mountain Creek. Mountain Creek Resort is home to the largest ski hill in NJ which makes the perfect location for a Super Spartan. Matt and Erick have already signed up and want you to sign up too!

Register here

More info here

RADD Fitness: 

Advanced (9th Grade) Monday – Thursday at 10:30 AM

Intermediate (6th-8th Grade Co-Ed) Monday – Thursday at 11:30 AM

Kids (Elementary ages) Saturday at 11:30 AM

Advanced & Beginner can also come to any Saturday Group Class – 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 or 10:30 AM. Email dan@raddcrossfitnsli.com if you are interested in this program. 

RADD Runners: Will meet Tuesday at 6PM!

Prime Paleo: You can order Paleo friendly meals for the week through Prime Paleo and your meals will be delivered to the gym.

There are a few steps.

1) Click the link to see the daily menu. Each meal comes with one protein and 2 sides (veggies). Email Rob (rob@raddcrossfitnsli.com) with your meal selections by Wednesday night using this spreadsheet.

2) We will bill your account by Sunday and you can pay online in Zen Planner.

3) Pick up your meals on Monday and enjoy!

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