By Andria Hassler
Soft Tissue Therapist and Co-Owner, Denver Sports Recovery
Denver Sports Recovery is excited about our partnership with Team Evergreen this year. We’re committed to helping the team have its best year ever. We hope you commit to taking care of your body before and after every race and enlisting the pros at Denver Sports Recovery to help create a customized plan just for you. Members of Team Evergreen and Mount Evans Hill Climb Participants get discounted membership for only $40 per month, special treatment rate of $60 per treatment, and dry needling for only $25 per location.
Bravo on taking steps since our last newsletter to care for you body before and after training! Summer months can be busy with lots of traveling, family obligations, kids out of school – a million reasons that make it easy to put yourself on the back burner. This month we’re going to give you some tips on things you can do yourself, at home, to take care of your body when you’re on the road or unable to make it in to Denver Sports Recovery to properly recover and rebuild.
Trigger Point Exercises
Psoas: The psoas (major) is a muscle that has been commonly associated with pain and discomfort in cyclists and desk-sitters alike. By using a Trigger Point ball, tennis ball (less firm) or lacrosse ball (more firm) we can assist the psoas to relax, alleviating discomfort:
1. While standing, place the ball 2 inches to either the left or right of the navel (belly button).
2. Lay face down on your stomach and reposition the ball from the standing position (2 inches left or right of navel). *When lying on the ball make sure to keep the abdominal muscles as relaxed as possible to ensure proper depth of the ball.
3. Begin with the arms positioned in a triangular position in front of you and begin to lift you upper body off of the ground using your arms as support. Hold for a second before returning to the starting position. *While lifting the chest, be sure to keep the lower back on the ground.
4. Follow Step 3, this time when at the top of the movement, pull with the arms as if trying to pull the body forward.
5. Follow Step 4; at the top of the movement also incorporate a leg lift on the same side as to where the ball is placed. *Try to lift the leg from the hip rather than the knee to get full extension of the psoas.
6. Repeat Steps 1-5 on the opposite side.
Inchworm: The inchworm is a great dynamic stretch and warm up. It brings multiple muscle groups into action as well as elongates muscle fibers, specifically of the posterior chain.
1. Begin with the feet shoulder width apart and bend over until your hands are in contact with the ground in front of your toes. You want to try and keep the legs as straight as possible although you can bend at the knees as much as necessary.
2. Walk out with your hands while keeping the feet firmly planted as far as possible while keeping the weight on the toes and hands.
3. Begin to walk the feet up trying to get as close to your hands as possible. Once again, keeping the legs straight.
World’s Greatest Stretch: The “World’s Greatest Stretch” derives its name from the movement one undergoes that applies a stretch throughout the whole body.
1. Take a lunge forward while keeping the back leg straight and avoid rounding of the back.
2. Begin to rock the body backwards by beginning to straighten the front leg and coming onto the heel. The back leg should remain straight during the second movement. *The hands and arms can act as support for balance on either side of needed.
3. Bring the torso upright, fire up through the glutes into the next lunge.
Ice Bath: Jumping into a cold ice bath after a workout is not generally an ideal thought to most. However, utilizing a cold bath (Cryotherapy) after a strenuous exercise bout is believed to be a beneficial, and some would argue, essential step for getting back out and training as soon as possible.
• A great at home cyrotherapy tub can be made by simply filling a tub with cold water and adding ice. A suggested temperature would be between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
• A suggested time frame would be 10-20 minutes.
RICE: RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
• Rest: The 7-to 8-hour mark is what is typically recommended for sleep. If 7-to 8-hours of sleep a night doesn’t appear to be plausible, try and get a combined 7-to 8-hours of sleep and relaxation time, even if that may only be 30 minutes here and there throughout the day.
• Ice: See “Ice Bath” above.
• Compression: Compression can be a useful tool to help with issues of inflammation, swelling, and lymphatic flow. In addition to area specific compression wraps, ACE bandages work great as well. A general rule for compression wrapping is to wrap distal to proximal and gradually reduce tension as you wrap proximally.
• Elevation: Elevation works off of gravity, as a body part is raised closer to or above the heart, blood (as well as lymphatic fluid) will be able to circulate more efficiently, allowing for the removal of waste produce, inflammation, and swelling.