There are 2, well, 3 things on the agenda today. Batman, grapefruit and foam rolling. What do these things have in common besides nothing and everything? Read on!
First I wanted to share my deepest condolences to all those affected in last Friday’s shooting in Colorado. It sickens me that one worthless individual can be so deplorable. I can’t begin to understand what the victims and their families are going through but my prayers are with them.
Although I was a bit uneasy, I did go to the movies to see The Dark Knight Rises and the phrase “holy Batman, Batman.” is appropriate. I don’t want to give anything away so I won’t talk about the movie but GO SEE IT if you haven’t already. What I do have to share is a brief conversation I had with Lindsay while we were watching the previews before it started.
Lindsay: “You know, I haven’t even seen trailer for this movie yet.”
Me: “What?! Really? How do you know it’s good?”
Lindsay: “Because it’s Batman. And Batman is awesome.”
Me: “I love you.”
This took place right before the preview for Man of Steel after which she turned to me and said she MUST see that. Needless to say but if I didn’t already propose I would have been getting down on one knee in the middle of the theater.
Also needless to say, Christopher Nolan did something that many directors have failed to do which is round out a trilogy where each movie is as good, if not better, than the last. Even though the movies tie in together it is like watching three separate story lines. Brilliant conclusion Mr. Nolan.
Foam rolling, which has absolutely nothing to do with Batman, sadly, is what I really wanted to talk about today since I have been re-reading Anatomy Trains by Thomas Myers.
That’s right RE-reading. Some of the more in-depth (aka difficult) and influential books in my library I like to read twice. If you ever though a text book covering your myofascial ‘covering’ is boring boy were you wrong!
What I wanted to share is nothing new and/or ground breaking but is not something I talk about all too frequently regarding soft tissue work. It has to do with the ability to hydrate muscles and tissues by ‘juicing’ your facial bags (aka muscles).
It sounds gross but bear with me here. I hear a lot of people talk about foam rolling to increase mobility, prevent injury, help you move better, and just plain old look sexier but not much about hydrating tissues which may be an equally important point when it comes to fitness goals.
Myers compares your fascial system to that of a grapefruit, you have the outer layer, inner layer, separate compartments, all of which is intersected and connected with filmy membrane in each ‘compartment’. Ever try to peel and separate each section of a grapefruit? Huge pain in the ass.
He also compares the juicing of a grapefruit to fascial work (foam rolling, massage, sexy time). Before you juice a grapefruit (or any other citrus fruit) it is a good idea to roll it under your hand to break up the sections to release the juice to make the juicing much easier.
Your body acts in a similar way prior to exercise. Using the foam roller to release our ‘juices’ and hydrate our tissues and otherwise ‘drier’ areas will increase the effectiveness of any exercise program and help to keep us healthier overall.
Short story: inactivity and being predominantly sedentary (which EVERYONE is…yes you) will cause your tissues to ‘dry’ out (less blood flow and nutrients will be brought to the joint/tissue) and make recovery more difficult. This goes for fat loss as well. Your body must be operate like a well oiled machine if you want to see some SERIOUS results. Period.
There are a good amount of people that don’t believe in foam rolling or think it is a waste of time. Hey, whatever, I don’t judge. I do what works with my myself and clients. Just sayin’.