To start our routine, we want to prep the tissues. This could be done with runner's sticks, we use foam rollers and lacrosse balls, rolling pins, spiky balls, tennis balls, baseballs. We use these hard, round implements to stimulate our nervous system, lighting it up and telling our body to prepare to make a change.
We generally get an increase in our range of motion when we do this, but it's temporary, unless we do more to cement it.
- Roll your glutes to start with. Your butt, your outer hip and pelvis. These are your external rotators.
- Move into the side to the front of your hip, covering your psoas and iliacus, tensor fascia latae, glute medius. These are flexors and internal rotators.
- Take some time rolling your quadriceps, on the front of your thigh.
- Save the best for last, rolling your inner thigh to warm up your adductors. It's exquisitely tender!
Spend about thirty seconds per region, per side. Not too hard, not too gentle. There will be areas of discomfort, most of these you will benefit from spending some time there, but don't wail on yourself.
We're not looking to cause ourselves a lot of pain here. No grimaces are necessary. We want to increase the circulation to the areas and let them know that they're about to do some work.
The benefits of these routines is largely neurological. Our muscles are not putty to be molded and shaped as we want. They are living parts of a very complex system. The changes we are making are not really mechanical.