Learn to Self-Release
Before you hit the trails, work out your tight muscles using a lacrosse ball or a foam roller. By releasing the tight muscles in your body, you can achieve efficient posture and regain the ability to use your bigger muscles, like your glutes, lats, quads, and biceps. Releasing before your workout will diminish the compensatory patterns that lead to overuse injuries like tendonitis and allow you to use your body to its fullest potential.
- Lie on your stomach and place a lacrosse ball just below your hipbone.
- Lean a tolerable amount of weight onto the lacrosse ball.
- Bend the knee on the side of the release back to a 90-degree angle. Swing your leg side to side in a tolerable range of motion. Repeat in 30-second to two-minute intervals.
- Sit on a surface so that your hips and knees are at 90-degree angles.
- Be sure to have enough room to be able to kick the foot out and straighten the knee.
- Place a lacrosse ball behind the knee on one of the hamstring muscles just above the knee.
- Kick the foot out as to straighten the knee and return to the starting position. Repeat.
- Move the ball up and down to different parts of the muscle and perform the same motion. Perform the same motion with the ball on the other hamstring muscle as well.
- Sit with your calf on top of the lacrosse ball. Place your other leg over the one you are releasing and roll yourself up and down over the ball.
- Once you find a spot that is tender, stop and point your foot up and down for 30 seconds.
- Lie on the side you wish to release. Place the foam roller under your bottom leg halfway between your hip and knee.
- Slide your leg up and down along the foam roller, moving it from the top of the knee to the base of the hip. Try to work over the more tender areas.
- Repeat in 30 second intervals for two minutes.
- To focus on a specific area of the IT band, locate the most tender area with the foam roller and stop. Bend your knee at a 90-degree angle, and then straighten. Repeat motion of bending and straightening knee for 10 to 15 seconds. You may repeat this with other areas along the vastus lateralis.
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