It is said that you don’t ‘overtrain’ you simply ‘under-recover’. This means that as a busy, stressed person with a ‘normal’ job and not quite enough time in the day, you will seem to overtrain earlier than someone who gets to sleep more, chill more and have daily massages!
There are a few important things to consider, when you are training regularly.
One is getting enough sleep, and good quality sleep, which we will cover in a separate article (and is covered in the Fit Body Fix Manual). Another is getting enough water and good quality nutrition (again, covered in the Fit Body Fix Nutrition Guide).
Daily massage would be another recommendation, but, of course, not many of us have the time or finances to achieve that! The benefits of massage are increasing mobility in tight or restricted muscles, flushing the natural metabolic waste materials that accumulate from training (or from having over-tight muscles in the first place) and increasing the speed of recovery. The overall effect is that you get more out of your training sessions as you can train more often & better.
There is an alternative to actual massage though! It is named ‘Self-Myofascial Release’ and for those of you to whom that sounds total gibberish, it is more simply referred to as ‘Foam Rolling’ and is basically a way to massage yourself – releasing the muscles & connective tissues, with much the same effect as a massage.
You can pick up a foam roller for about £15 (I get mine from Physique Management: ) and it is well worth it!
You can use the foam roller every day, and it is especially good when used on restricted or overly tight muscles before training (calves are often tight, as well as the ITB along the side of the thigh) as well as being used every day for recovery purposes. If you have a niggle it is often that tight muscles are pulling things out of alignment, and rolling the tight bits can really help reduce niggles and reduce the chances of getting them.
You apply pressure to your body by placing the roller on the floor, and then rolling around on it! You find the tender or tight spots, making sure you relax the muscles (if you hold them tense you cannot get the full effect, in the same was as if you had a massage and sat there completely rigid!) and then hold, or gently roll, on those spots, until you can feel the tension ease.
Some very tender areas require hardly any pressure at all, especially to start with, so you have to build it up. The calves and ITB (outer thigh) can be particularly tender, and you don’t want to cause actual pain.
After a session you will feel lighter and wonderful, as well as having increased recovery and reduced the chances of injury, so it is worth the initial discomfort – plus as you persist you will see the tenderness decrease.
There are harder rollers you can then progress to, and you can use other methods such as tennis balls or golf balls on smaller areas such as the feet.
Those of you at Fit Body Fix can get a roller from me if you haven’t already, and you get a manual explaining the techniques in more detail, plus I can show you them at the end of a session or at some other time as convenient to check you are doing it right. I can also help to point out which areas are in particular need for you!
For videos (when I get my videoing mojo back I will shoot one to replace this!) check this out: FOAM ROLLIN’ VID
There is also a foot version you can do with a tennis ball: http://www.fitbodyfix.com/training-tips/anyone-for-tennis-aka-how-a-tennis-ball-can-help-you-get-in-shape-faster/This entry was posted in Training Tips. Bookmark the permalink.