Perfect your Recovery with Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls for self-massage


        lime        ALPHA_TwinSet            therapy +

I am a Performance Recovery Specialist helping athletes achieve their best through proper recovery. As a former Canadian national team athlete, exercise physiology and sport psychology consultant to a variety of athletes and teams I know and have experienced the importance of systematic training plans, peaking for performance, correct biomechanics, injury prevention and recovery. One of the many ways I assist athletes in their health and longevity within their respective sport is by using Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls for self-massage.

Prior to being introduced to Yoga Tune Up® in November 2011 by Todd Lavictoire, I used tennis balls and/or golf balls for a decade. They were fantastic tools that helped me perform at my best… or so I thought. As soon as the YTU® balls sunk into my thoracic spine I fell in love! There’s absolutely nothing like them! NOTHING.

There have been many blogs written prior to this one in regards to YTU® balls, and I encourage you to read my awesome colleague Brooke Thomas’ brilliant article. She does a fantastic comparison of the YTU® balls compared to foam rollers and lacrosse balls. My blog gives a bit more insight for the athlete and coach.

In simplistic and straight to the point terms, what does your sport training actually do?

Training induces: 

Microtears in the muscle fibers and connective tissue

Scar tissue

↑ Inflammation

Immune function

Circulation

Yes, it can make you SIIC, sick!

The time required to repair your microtears is dependent upon frequency, intensity, duration, fitness level, stress, nutrition, sleep and overall self-care, etc.

How does an athlete recover from being SIIC? 

Rolling on YTU® balls e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y.!

End of blog.

LOL! Just kidding.

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Why?

1. Health care practitioners, such as manual therapists, are the BOMB; but, as athletes we don’t have time to go see one everyday. YTU®balls provide you with an everyday massage!

2. Massage has been researched for y.e.a.r.s. It has shown over and over again that it breaks down adhesions (scar tissue), decreases inflammation and increases circulation. PERIOD.

3. The shore (the hardness) of YTU® balls are the closest shore to human muscle [balls that most cross fitters use are 3X as hard]. Yes, when you apply pressure to the YTU® balls on any part of your body, it’s like you are applying muscle to muscle. No other stress transfer medium (read Brooke’s article) on the market is like this. Human muscle likes the same hardness placed on it, not more.

4. Fighting your way through recovery is misconstruing the entire practice of recovery itself. Most cross fitters have a tendency to fight their way through the workout; so, it must apply to recovery!? Wrong. It’s the exact opposite.

Training= tearing the crap out of your body.

Recovery= recharging, repairing, and rebuilding.

As an athlete you want resilience~ getting right back at it as quickly as possible.

↑Fighting= ↓ Resilience= Taking longer to recover

5. But, I don’t “feel” as much with the YTU® balls? Your sense of feel might have NOTHING to do with the health of your muscle… and it might have EVERYTHING to do with the health of your muscle. Especially if you’ve been rolling on harder balls, your senses might be slightly warped. Until you roll in a productive way, you can’t really tell. I go through a detailed protocol with my athletes; but, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself in which to start your recovery:

Are you fully present when you roll and do you breathe in a completely relaxed manner when you roll on the YTU® balls? This approach is vastly different than dissociation and paining {pain face} your way through a so-called “release of tension” in the muscles.

6. The classic, therapy+ and alpha YTU® balls are different sizes but the same shore; so, that means they should feel the same. No. They don’t. I use each of the balls for different areas of my body and depending on many other factors. Each athlete is different with their ball size use, it’s personal! You are the only one living in your body, so with guidance and practice you decide what size works best for you on each particular area of your body.

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Recommendations for athletes

Recovery starts before the workout (I’m sure you’ve heard that before)

Pre-workout Activation: Roll on targeted areas of the body ~ 15 to 30 sec each part

During workout Proprioception: Between sets/reps/wods ~ 15 to 30 sec dependent on you

After workout Recovery: Take a minimum of 15 minutes to roll out ~ 1-2 minutes on each part

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**WEEKLY FULL-BODY ROLL**

One thing I ask ALL athletes to do is a weekly ONE-HOUR full body roll. You do not need to do it all at once. For example: Your Sunday recovery session could be 20 minutes morning, 20 minutes afternoon, and 20 minutes of rolling before going to bed.

Yes, it’s HARD.

Yes, it takes TIME.

Yes, it’s TIRING. 

It’s also a time when you connect with every single millimetre of your body. It’s important that athletes recognize their responsibility, accountability and ownership deciding to be an athlete in the first place. Being in control of your body through knowledge of your body (touch) is a fantastic way to stay on top of nociception, proprioception ~ injury prevention.

I live in Perth and travel around Australia providing workshops (a wide variety) and trainings (i.e. The Roll Model Method®: The Science of Rolling) as the only Teacher Trainer down under. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to train coaches, athletes, chiropractors, physiotherapists, personal trainers, exercise physiologists, massage therapists, occupational therapists and many other professionals since 2012.

YTU® is GLOBAL! If you are curious about it please check out www.yogatuneup.com for details in your area. Be part of your health care with self-care. Get to it! :)

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