Below: Alex "boss Poss" Possamai (aka my new boss!) and me rippin' it up at his new CrossFit Bolton location!
Unless you want "boner legs," I suggest you utilize some type of roller, especially after doing the above pictured workout: Renegades of Squats!
Ok, so I'm the first to admit that I don't stretch. I haven't ever since I was a kid in ballet class. Anytime the stretching component of the class came up, I'd sit and wait until everyone was finished. Why? Because I was as flexible as an HB number two pencil. Not stretching class after class was making it worse, but how was I to know that at the tender age of six? Gimme a break!
I came to the sudden realization that I was the most non-flexible person I knew when I had visited a friend's affiliate, Conker Fitness in Oakville, to do a WOD with the affiliate owner Jeff Morey and CrossFit Niagara affiliate owner Mark Gleason (two VERY awesome guys, by the way). Upon completing the workout, both Jeff and Mark encouraged me to use what I now refer to as "the death roller." It looked simple enough, and even quite relieving and soothing at first glance! But after being given instructions on how to use it and applying those instructions, I realized I was utterly deceived.
"HOOOOOOOOOLYYYYYYYYY FFFFFFFFFF%*#$!!! OW, OW, OW, OW, OW!!!"
Honestly, how the HELL do people put up with the pain from this cylindrical death-like contraption? Am I just really that big of a wuss or is it one of the most painful things in the world?
Well, there is a purpose for it, and we should all begin doing it on a regular basis.
Basically, when we are using these 'foam rollers,' what we are doing is what is known as SMR (Self-Myofascial Release). The body naturally performs myofascial release, but adding the 'S' component to the 'M' and the 'R' means YOU need to actively participate!
Let's dig deeper into the "fibers" of SMR...
Simply put, this definition of Myofascial Release states that "it is a form of soft tissue intended for pain relief, increasing range of motion and balancing the body" (Wikipedia.com). So basically, the purpose of "Self" Myofascial Rlease is to speed up the process of regaining flexibility and range of motion , as well as alleviating any pains from the previous workouts, by untangling the fascia.
During a workout, your muscle fibers are put under a lot of strain, as described by the tangling of the fibers, which is subsequently the after effects of a workout. During MR and SMR "The fascia is manipulated, directly or indirectly, supposedly to allow the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion" (Ibid). Who knew muscles were that smart?!
Now if only it didn't hurt so damn much...
The process of SMR is quite the painful one, and only the strongest of strong can actually grin and bear the pain administered by "the death roller." I am going to go out later this afternoon and purchase a foam roller for myself, because after yesterday's workout, I've realized it is definitely an important step to recovery.
There are different varieties of rollers you can buy, ranging from hardness of roller to thickness of roller, to shape of roller. Here is a link for you to check out for the different varieties of rollers. Enjoy, and get rollin', rollin', rollin', rollin'!