On March 20th 2015, Spring is finally here. Making sure you stretch, foam roll, & regularly practice mobility exercises will insure you can kick up your Spring training program intensely. If you missed out on your New Year’s resolution working to be in the best shape of your life, I invite you to make Spring of 2015 the time where you take things to the next level. If you are subscribed to my emails & read my content, I thank you for that. As you know, I’m constantly giving my clients & friends helpful information to take their physiques to the next level.
Before you even think about turning up the heat on your training program, I created this video below to give you tips & ideas to eliminate any pain or tight spots in your body. It’s my general guide to mobility, & a nice way to warm up. You can do every single thing I show you in this video daily if you wanted. It can allow your body to perform at an athletic level. Your progress can take a boost, & you’ll be leaner for the summer as you can exercise more efficiently. If your nutrition is Frank Wall approved, I can 110% guarantee you results. Watch the video down below, and feel free to read my thoughts on this subject afterwards.
Increasing Mobility & Functionality for your body can generally eliminate the chance of injury from physical activity or daily routines. If you even want the chance at having this killer swimsuit ready beach body, you need to make sure you exercise correctly. Many times people kick up a training program too fast too soon and injure themselves from poor stretching techniques associated with tight muscles. If you want to save yourself the pain in the long run, take the advice from the video. 99.9% of people have injured themselves in some way, shape, or form from working out. If they haven’t yet, it’s only a matter of time before they will. Yes, it is discouraging. But when you set goals & surpass them, your body reaches a new level that requires more attention to stretching & mobility.
Every time March rolls around, something clicks inside my head. I realize that my winter season of really building stacks of muscle backing off intense cardiovascular activity is over. I generally don’t pay attention to eating the cleanest foods 100% of the time during the winter. When I know Spring is shortly coming, I change how I eat & how I train dramatically. To be ready for training, your body must move how it was designed to properly.
Change the way you feel & move today. A lot of the time, when there’s pain, you need to ask yourself, “Is the joint doing what it’s supposed to do?” If the knee is constantly bent at rest, & you can’t fully straighten it out, you can have an excessive load on your knee all day from walking or standing on it. This pressure on the knee becomes too great resulting in pain. It’s so important before you start exercising that you have great range of motion in your joint so you don’t further damage your muscles/joints from performing a movement incorrectly. Foam rolling can loosen up the tight muscles and relax them, so that they can properly work through the correct range of motion.
You should spend at least 30 seconds to 2 minutes rolling each area. Yes, this will probably hurt some. Just go easy, & do the best you can. It will get better over time. I try and pick a spot that may give me some sharp pressure, or feel slight pain when applying pressure. This is generally a tell-tale sign of tightness. Applying firm pressure to this area can break up the fascia (tissue), allowing normal blood flow for the muscle & joint to go through full ranges of flexion and extension. Do not focus on the area of pain immediately. Roll out the surrounding areas first. Then you can slowly ease into the painful area with larger motions. From larger motions you can eventually get the pressure in a smaller motion with firmer force. Over time, your muscles will strengthen, building more resistance to this pressure, increasing blood flow & relaxing the muscle.
This is a general guide to foam rolling & mobility. I didn’t cover everything here, & roll out every single muscle in the body. I addressed a few key points that I needed to take care of based on how my body felt, and what I was going to work on. If you’re looking for additional information for foam rollers, check out my blog on the benefits foam rolling by clicking the link or picture above.
Questions I like to ask myself are, “How do I feel, how do I look, & how do I perform?” Ask yourself those questions using your own personal feedback & assessment of yourself to determine your standard protocol before you start a workout. Again, there are 100’s of things that can be going wrong with you, such as torn ligaments to cartilage tears, swollen & inflamed tissue to past injuries not properly rehabbed & given the special care needed. Getting rid of pain in the body is the first step to exercising safely.
Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. Maintaining proper posture, a healthy diet, warming up properly, & stretching before exercise are some things that can alleviate pain. When foam rolling my back, I generally start by rolling all the way up & down the spine. If you take a deep breath of air laying on your foam roller at the highest point of your upper back, you can slowly exhale & roll down towards the lower portion of your back. You may feel a slight crack & pop in the back. This does not harm you, as it’s just the joints loosening up. This stretching in your back will make the muscles feel more relaxed. I will generally keep my abdominals tight, take in a deep breath of air to tighten my core & slowly stretch while twisting to the left & right to further loosen up my back.
I always feel you want to bend & move your body in as many directions as you can when foam rolling/stretching. If you can do a lot of these movements on a foam roller, chances are, you’ll be a lot less likely to injure yourself from day to day activities. Stretching often keeps your muscles limber, & increases blood flow to the muscle. It’s important to stretch as much as you exercise to prevent joints & muscles from stiffening up. Your muscle will function more efficiently improving your performance.
When it’s all said and done, all you do here, is slowly roll, or massage a body part with gentle pressure. If you experience a tightness in some area, apply a little more force to a point where you can tolerate some pain. If you find a tight spot, stay on there for a bit, & try to massage it out. No, this isn’t comfortable. Guess what else? Sometimes in life, you gotta get a little uncomfortable to make some progress. Starting a new fitness program, a new nutrition regimen, or an intense core & conditioning routine is not for the feint of heart. You have to be 110% percent committed! If you’re not, you’re going to fail. I’m sure we’ve all failed because you either do two things. You’re failing or succeeding. It’s one or the other. Sometimes we don’t succeed, and we fail. Failure teaches us growth. Failure can strengthen us. If you haven’t read my blog on failure, please click the link or photo below you see here.
My motto for rolling tight muscles is the area that needs to be addressed is the area in pain near surrounding/supporting muscles. The muscles are tight, & they need to be loosened up. With enough persistence in this activity, you will be able to massage the area experiencing little to no discomfort at all. Your body will be able to perform all sorts of technical movements without any limitations. You just need some proper coaching , & plan to make you better. You could be looking at this thinking wow, I’m never going to put myself through this kind of pain. If you don’t, your posture can diminish, & you can experience pain in other ways.
Even if you’ve never set foot in the gym, or you haven’t even begun to think of what’s the best cardio program for you, you need to get deep tissue work in regularly. If you don’t exercise a lot or any at the moment, just spend 15-20 minutes 3x times a week practicing what see me doing in the video. If you’re my client, you should be doing this anyways. You know I tell you guys all the time to eliminate any doubt that we could possibly have any injury or setback from our muscles being too tight. I always keep a foam roller nearby as I use it in between my main lifts such as dead lifting, squatting & any kind of back work. I generally spend time doing one of those lifts first combined with foam rolling to keep my body limber for the rest of the workout to come.
Everyone needs to recover faster & loosen up tight muscles so they can create a healthier, good looking, pain free body that’s going to be primed & ready for summer, June 21st. To get the body you’ve been wanting, you’ve got to do the hard work you haven’t tried. Fitness & healthy eating has to be one of the first things on your mind when you wake up. I always say you keep God first, fitness second, & then family/friends. You could argue your family comes next after God. But if you are not in good health, how do you take care of & support your family?
Your health is important, & you need to do everything in your power to maintain & nurture it. If you have a strong spirit & a healthy body, you can take care of & spend time with family/friends. The relationships you have with others are some of the most important things you have in your life. Because at the end of it, what do you take to the grave? There’s no material things of course. You are left with memories of how you treated other people. I maintain my health & spirit so I can motivate & inspire others to live a better longer lasting life. A beautiful built body doesn’t come easy. You are the artist of what you see in the mirror. Shape it into something you’ll enjoy to see every day. I will help prepare you for summer. Just take my advice, & accept my coaching. Let’s make 2015 a remarkable year for your success in fitness.