How Do I Use a Foam Roller?

Tips for Using a Foam Roller

  • Always check with your doctor before using a foam roller for myofascial release

  • Perform foam roller sessions when your muscles are warm or after a workout.

  • Position the roller under the soft tissue area you want to release or loosen.

  • Gently roll your body weight back and forth across the roller while targeting the affected muscle.

  • Move slowly and work from the center of the body out toward your extremities.

  • If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position until the area softens.

  • Focus on areas that are tight or have reduced range of motion.

  • Roll over each area a few times until you feel it relax. Expect some discomfort. It may feel very tender or bruised at first.

  • Stay on soft tissue and avoid rolling directly over bone or joints.

  • Keep your first few foam roller sessions short. About 15 minutes is all you need.

  • Rest a day between sessions when you start.

  • Drink plenty of water after a session, just as you would after a sports massage.

  • After a few weeks you can increase your session time and frequency if you choose.

  • Do not use a foam roller without your physician’s approval if you have any heart illness or chronic pain condition.

More About Techniques With the Foam Roller

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  • Find a tender spot on the area you are working and keep the roller on this spot. Wait for discomfort to diminish by 50-75%. This could take some time and be uncomfortable.

  • When this area is no longer sensitive then begin to see if there are other sensitive areas and repeat.

  • When this area is free of pain and can be rolled over, then continue rolling regularly to keep the area relaxed.

  • Use the roller as warm up prior to activity and also for warm down after exercise

  • There is some freedom for experimentation and “feel” when using the rollers. See what works best for you and manipulate the roller to the correct position.

Maintaining Your Foam Roller

Due to how foam rollers are manufactured, all foam products will have some surface imperfections. Imperfections such as surface bubbles, dimensional tolerance and differences in color are normal. These imperfections will not affect the performance of the foam roller and other foam products.

Normal use will cause indentations or pressure points. Pressure points may slowly re-cover, however, continuous pressure lasting several hours should be avoided. Do not store objects on top of foam items. Foam performs best if stored flat, away from sunlight and within temperature ranges between 75°F – 125°F.

 Cleaning:    

Use a mild soap and water mixture or Isopropyl Rubbing alcohol.  DO NOT use bleach solutions, oils or other chemicals as they can cause softening, discoloration and distortion of shape.

CK SPORTS carries all types of foam rollers; full, half size and even the new GRID.  Stop in and let us set you up with the best foam roller for your sport. 

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Triathlon Transition Tips

Article written by Poseidon Triathlon Coach, Jim Brown 

Practice – Both mentally and physically. It’s much easier and quicker to shave a minute or even more off your overall time than to try to improve your swim, bike or run by the same amount.  You can improve your transition times by this much with just an hour or two of practicing. In contrast, it could take as a long as an entire season (or longer) to shave a minute off a 750m swim or a 5K run. Visualizing a quick, clean transition before the race and at the end of your swim and bike legs can help your performance.

Get in Gear Put your bike in the right gear for the course before you rack. You won’t want to be in a high gear if there’s a big hill ready to greet you immediately out of T2! Do your course recon first!

Make your transition spot a clutter free zone –For sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, you don’t need socks or a lot of other clutter. Eliminating unnecessary items will help you and others around you.

Bike shoes in the pedals – Put on your bike shoes while riding the course at 18 mi/hr instead of standing still in transition. (Unless T1 exits is on a big hill!) You can clip your shoes into place with rubber bands. There are lots of Youtube videos demonstrating this technique.

Run with your bike – After putting your helmet on, run upright with good form on the left side of your bike holding your seat with your right hand.

Flying Mount – Learn a flying mount & dismount. It’s good to practice on a trainer or a soft track surface first. There are lots of Youtube videos demonstrating this technique.

Your bike is your Sherpa—Tape Gels, and sunglasses (sometimes they’ll fit on the outside of your helmet), and whatever else you may need to your bike.  It’s a waste of time to rummage around the transition area looking for these items and packing them for the ride.

T1 and T2 are not fitting rooms – Any clothing changes, especially on a wet body takes lots of time. Triathlon suits are designed for swimming, biking and running, so you shouldn’t need to change clothes.

Location, Location, Location – Know where your bike is located, where the bike and run exits are, and the quickest route to them.  In huge transition areas, it’s sometimes a good idea to use a bright colored marker (I’ve seen balloons, teddy bears, old swim caps, chalk marks, etc.) to help you find your bike.

Stand up/Spin up/Stretch—The last few minutes on the bike should prepare you for the run. Stand up and pedal in a high gear first for a minute or two to shunt blood from your quadriceps to other muscles in your legs.  Stretch out your hamstrings and calf muscles, to get them ready to run.  Spin up in an easy gear at high cadence (90), which helps activate your neuromuscular system for running.

Use lace locks or speed laces (and body glide/baby powder)—Tying shoe laces takes time. Body glide or baby powder put in your shoe ahead of time can allow for quick foot entry into your shoe. It’s also faster to put on your shoes while standing as opposed to sitting down and getting up.   All of these race items can be found at CK SPORTS, located at 121 and Custer in McKinney.

Hit the road fastIn T2, grab what you need and go. Put on your hat, fuel, and race belt/bib while you are running.  Even if you are running slightly slower through transition, it’s better than standing still.


Never try anything new on race day!

ATTEND THE TRANSITION CLINIC AT CK SPORTS ON TUESDAY, MAY 15TH AT 6:30PM.  They are located at 8880 State Highway 121, McKinney, TX 75070

You Don’t have to Run in Drenched Clothes

 So everyone is putting together their fitness plans, picking out their next race, and preparing their training schedule. When putting thought into your goals, don’t forget to give careful thought about your wardrobe as well. That does not mean if the pink shoes will match the shorts and headband but more so if you have the right apparel for the hot and humid days ahead of us. Save your cotton tanks your casual outings with family and friends and make sure the shorts and shirts you run in are technical moisture management apparel that will make your workouts much more comfortable and less risk of chafing and have wet, heavy clothing sticking to your skin the last hour of a workout!

So you ask, why technical apparel. What’s so great about it?

Basically technical apparel is what some refer to as moisture management fabric which pulls sweat from the skin and spreads it out into the garment so that it will dry faster. This description is called “wicking” but understand that even cotton (the frowned upon fabric among athletes) wicks (pulls) moisture faster than synthetics, BUT it holds onto the moisture not allowing the moisture to spread out. This causes wet clothing they will cling while working out. Technical garments take much longer to saturate and will dry more quickly never giving you a heavy, soaking wet feeling.

So what’s the big deal about a heavy, wet piece of clothing while working out? Aren’t we suppose to be drenched is your next thought right?   Well, this feeling/effect can cause other problems.

  • In cold temperatures working out in cotton and having the layer of apparel closest to your skin get wet with little ability to dray can cause hypothermia.
  • When cotton is super-saturated, it has the effect on your skin that lying in a bath tub does—you (your skin) becomes prune-like. This is bad because when you add heat and movement to your already sensitive skin, the likelihood of blistering, chafing, or callusing is very high.

Polyester and nylon may have a bad rap with casual clothing, but for the an athlete they are the fabric of choice. There are plenty of advantages to polyester and nylon. It’s light, durable, smooth against the skin, and has tremendous moisture managing properties. It keeps you dry, and keeps you from chafing and blistering. Polyester is a very light and thin material, so it can be molded and fit into many types of clothing. It can be a light singlet or a t-shirt as easily as it can be included in a heavy winter “shell” jacket. Due to polyester’s great moisture managing properties it will keep you dry, which keeps you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter—all without causing skin abrasions that you end up nursing long after the chafing happened. If you are trying to pick between the two fabrics (which many times the apparel will be a blend of both) nylon is more durable (typically) and holds the color in the fabric after various washes a little better.

Fit

Last, when selecting your fitness apparel, make sure you purchase your apparel the correct size. Wearing shorts that are larger than you need can cause chafing simply due to having too much fabric between your legs and causing it to rub against your skin when exercising. Technical garments work best when fit closer to the skin but as more manufacturers evolve new technology has allowed for the fit to be looser and still be effective for moisture management, warmth and cooling.

CK SPORTS 

CK SPORTS carries various brands of technical apparel for both men and women.  The brands range from Pearl Izumi, Brooks, Under Armour, Mizuno and much more.  Visit our store and our staff will help you select the best fit for your body type and exercise needs.   When making these purchases you will want to take care of your apparel since it is an investment.  Unlike cotton fabric, technical fabric does costs a little more.  If you wash/dry it correctly, it will last a long time and remain effective.  

What’s the Hype about Sports Massages?

So, when you decide to go and get a massage to either prep for an upcoming race or recover from a long training event are you selective on who you go see, when you go and what to expect?   

Tim Hines 
Local Massage Therapist, Tim Hines, with Elite Performance Chiropractic located in McKinney, provides us with everything you would want to know about massages. 
 
Massage therapy has a world of benefits for bikers and runners.  Athletic performance, while healthy, also puts stress on the body — particularly when you push yourself to achieve that next goal.  Living takes its toll, and we must take care of our bodies or they will let us know about it.  We need food, sleep, and exercise to maintain ourselves.  Massage therapy, as well, plays an important part in helping the athlete continue to perform at a peak level.

 
Running and biking puts the muscles under stress.  This is good — it’s how the muscles grow and develop — but it also has a down-side.  The stress can create little injuries in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, that if not attended to, leads to a build-up of scar tissue.  That scar tissue can form into web-like bundles we call adhesion.  This is that gristly stuff you sometimes feel when you are palpating a tender area, and the hard knots that ache in your shoulder tops and other places.  Adhesion limits the function of the muscle — decreasing performance and increasing the chance of new and greater injury.
 
Left unchecked it will cause imbalances in the body that start to spread problems from one part to the next — making you run or peddle harder with one leg than the other, for example.  That in turn may cause your hips to start twisting, creating instability in the low back.  The calves of runners can become extremely restricted — leading to problems like plantar-fasciitis or shin-splints.  Adhesion often forms in the upper back of bikers, because they spend so much time hunched over their handle bars.  From there, problems can spread to the neck and arms. Nerves can even became impinged, causing numbness and tingling in the hands.
 
Fortunately we’ve developed a solution over the years that we call massage therapy.  The goal of sports massage is to remove these adhesions — eliminating the painful restrictions and returning the body to proper and balanced function.  A good massage not only unties the knots in the muscles, but it also helps clean out the soft tissue, pushing away lactic acid and toxins and bringing in fresh blood flow, needed for muscle healing and recovery.
 
Athletes report that massage helps reduce the recovery phase their bodies go through, and enhances their build-up phase.  That simply means that the amount of time you feel sore and wiped-out following a performance is lessened.  And your muscles are able to adapt to new demands and grow stronger more effectively because they are free of restriction, and your body is in better balance.
The body does the best it can to deal with the stresses we it put under, but it can always use a helping hand.  Therapeutic massage, especially when combined with chiropractic care, is a natural and healthy way to take care of yourself, and get the most out of your athletic performance.
 
 
Tim is a Massage Therapist for Elite Performance Chiropractic in McKinney, Tx.  www.epcmckinney.com
Tim’s credentials include; LMT, Sports & Therapeutic Massage, ART Full Body Certified, Long Nerve Track Entrapment Certified, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.  CK SPORTS and Elite Chiropractic partner together in various events.  Every Friday, Rich Miller, owner of Elite Performance offers his services at CK SPORTS from Noon to 1:30pm for local residents who would like a 15 minute analysis of any injury or ache they may have.  Call and schedule your 15 minute session now at 214-383-0088.