It’s all in the massage technique you use. When it comes to complete arm muscle relief and recovery, it’s all technique.
Frankly, it feels good to start to loosen up tight tissue, and rolling back and forth with your favorite therapy tool will do just that. This technique is called “Circulatory Massage” because it moves blood around the muscles (which flushes out waste products).
But circulatory massage alone won’t get back the critical range of motion in your muscle movement. And it is regaining full range of motion that will shorten your recovery time and increase your readiness for new muscle loading, training and overall use.
Maintaining full muscle range of motion means three things:
1. Your muscles will return to their natural levels of strength;
2. Your muscles will return to their natural levels of endurance;
3. Your fascia (arm tendons) will remain pliant and lengthy.
There are several names given by medical and sports therapists for the technique to regain range of motion – but call it by any name, it’s the absolute best. Trigger Point Therapy, Tack (Pin) and Stretch, Active Release, Myofascial Release – they all use these same basic three steps.
1. Find the sore spot (trigger point) by rolling a ball slowly and deliberately and with pressure over tight muscles, searching for the most painful hidden spots.
2. When you find a trigger point, stop rolling. Hold direct pressure on that spot to the point of a useful “it-hurts-good” pain sensation.
3. While maintaining that “feels-good” kind of pressure, fully and slowly stretch the muscle that has the trigger point. If you are massaging your forearm muscles, the stretch movement will be fully flexing and extending your hand at the wrist, in circular and back-and-forth movements. If you are doing your biceps and triceps, then you’ll move your arm at the elbow to full extension and 45 degree contraction, slowly back and forth.
4. Go ahead and make that “Ooooo, hurts good” expression.
Pro athletes get a massage every time they work out – why? Their therapists know that it will help keep them at their peak ability. Become your own therapist by finding an easy-to-use tool to comfortably and accurately apply the ROM technique to yourself. Your arms, hands and elbows will thank you for the rest of your life.