Hey RMA crew!
Hope you had the best weekend! I had a birthday last week so mine was a continuation of the ‘Festival of Paul’ which was kind of cool. Turning 21 is a big thing! 🙂 Definitely good to have a kid free day once in a while.
Last time we caught up I was talking about tight muscles with running and we went through how muscles kind of ‘lock up’ because if you can understand the locks you can understand the ‘keys’.
Remember there are two tightening or ‘locking’ mechanisms of a muscle. The first is,
The glad wrap around your muscles.
The second lock of muscles are your,
Trigger Points are the ‘knots’ you get in your shoulders which are not JUST in your shoulders. There is a map of them throughout the body and they can cause tension as well as lead to pain, injury that can put you out of running…Not part of the plan!!!
So when you understand the ‘Locks’ you want to know the keys so you can be the best runner you can be while staying injury free. So do you want to know the ‘Keys’ guys??
Cool. So at BL Physio we call them ‘muscle hacks’ and there are four. A few years ago I was treating a blind runner. She was having knee issues and she was asking me about how to free tight muscles around the area. I knew with vision impairment the ground forces can increase slightly. Running was so important to this lady I wanted to make it really clear how to help herself, so I got out a piece of paper and wrote down four letters S S T M.
I told her there were four ways to help a muscle free up and fire better…
Hack number one:
If you contract a muscle and hold it for five to eight seconds you will get a better relaxation. Simple and easy. You do it naturally when you wake up and have your stretch in the morning. Our elite runners will stretch in pairs and what they do is one will push into the other contracting the muscle, then they will relax and their partner will stretch them. Works way better than just a stretch alone.
Big secret here people!! Don’t tell anyone! LOL! The REAL hack to using stretch is you gotta get it done!! Do key muscle groups, 20 seconds each stretch and put it into your day. Bust it out quick, you’ll improve form and be more efficient WHILE staying injury free. Remember, static stretches are for after runs. Research shows that when warming up always use the dynamic stuff which is taking the joint through range but not holding it there long, leg swings, rotations, etc. Stay smart people.
One of my favourite hacks is ‘trigger’. With tension, you can apply pressure to the tight spot on the muscle. It’s kind of like a pleasure pain feeling and the muscle will give you a bit of it’s length, it will free up. So effective with twinges, cramps. Just have to be smart with how you use it. Two rules, don’t push on circulation, necks, your creases e.g. armpits, front of elbows, groin, back of knees. Also if an area is ever puffy, swollen, warm, red you wouldn’t push on it. You would get doc to check it out. Work with your health professional to show you your trigger trails. Comfy at all times during and after. If not STOP! Getting good at trigger pointing will change your running life!
Sounds simple but very few runners know how to use movement to optimise their body. I was with the Aussie team going to Dublin for the 24hr World Champs a couple of weeks ago and one of the big things I was showing them was specific movements to lengthen the body both before, during AND after the race. Mick Thwaites is one of our amazing runners, he came third at Badwater last year. But during the 48hr nationals in Canberra, day two he was starting to flex. He was losing form so he knew to use movement. He lay down on the grass and started to rotate his knee across the body, small at first then increasing range, three minutes each side to straighten himself. He won…again. But this is the kind of stuff our elites know. No reason you can’t use them too!
That’s it, FOUR HACKS. SQUEEZE, STRETCH, TRIGGER, MOVE! Four pearls.
Know them then you can start to learn techniques of each to keep you running forever.
Have a great week RMA!
Let me know your question for next time. Can’t wait to see everyone at Gold Coast!!