Myofascial exercises target your connective tissue including muscle fascia, tendons and ligaments. They help you to keep your structural elements properly aligned and working smoothly while swimming, biking or running.
This is part number two of our series of myofascial exercises. Follow this link to read ARTICLE_1 – Exercises 1-4
How Do You Get Started?
One way of reducing the tightness around a trigger point is exercise. Squeezing the affected area and alternating pressure and release can be an effective way to increase the ‘inner flow’ of the tissue.
1) Start with a full body warm-up to increase the blood flow. Try to keep it flowing while exercising.
2) Mix in a variety of exercises in different planes.
3) While challenging one area, make sure you take pressure off other areas.
4) Apply larger movements instead of holding smaller, more local positions.
5) Use the full range of motion of your joints – challenge your flexibility.
6) Add foam rolling, massages and other forms of therapy as needed.
Your goal is to stretch the painful muscle, improve posture, and restore healthy muscle use.
Ideally you combine foam rolling and dynamic stretching exercises as shown below.
Exercise #5. Bent Forward Reach & Twist
Start standing upright, with a soft bend in your knees. Bend your hips and lean forward, letting your upper body hang down.
While in the down position, rotate your torso to the side. Walk the fingers of your outside hand as far away from you as possible.
Add a gentle twist, then slowly walk your hands from one side to the other one. After 5 reps on each side, come back up.
Exercise #6. Lunge Circle
Start your lunge circle centered on your right leg, hold your arms at your chest level. Use your left leg to lower into various lunge positions.
Lunge 1: Step with your left leg across your right calf (Curtsy Lunge).
Lunge 2: Step with your left leg to the rear, in the opposite direction of the previous curtsy lunge.
Lunge 3: Step with your left leg up front, like into a 10 o’clock position to your left.
Switch your legs and repeat with your right leg.
Exercise #7. Reverse Bird Dog
Start on your back on an exercise mat. Extend both arms and legs and hold them a few inches off the floor.
Now pull in the extended right arm and pull the knee towards your hips. Rotate your head and twist towards the extended left arm overhead.
Gently alternate between positions, pulling a diagonal set of arms and legs in, while twisting your upper back.
Exercise #8. Triple Spine Twirl
Start standing upright, in a staggered stance, arms on your side.
First position: Curl your upper back in, bring your chin towards your chest, internally rotate your arms and face your palms out.
Second position: From the curled position, gently unroll into a more upright stand. Externally rotate your arms until the palms face out and up front.
Third position: Continue to open up your chest by lifting your extended arms up front towards the ceiling. Let your head follow the move and end up facing towards the ceiling. Draw your shoulder blades together and take deep breaths.
Relieve pain and increase mobility through a mix of self-myofascial release and dynamic exercises.
Explore and experiment to find what works best for your particular body!