You want to know how you can improve the way your body moves?
Wanna know how you can improve your flexibility, your breathing, and the quality of your sleep?
How to feel relaxed and biomechanically balanced?
Soft tissue work.
I’ve already told you the importance of it. Now I want to show you what tools you need to get it done.
But before I do, let’s do a quick recap.
Soft tissue work is designed to improve the quality and health of your precious soft tissues. By applying gradual pressure to tender spots on your body, you can relax and lengthen the fascia and eliminate the nagging knots that build up over time.
Soft tissue work is only one form of Self-Myofascial Release (SMR), but it is by far the cheapest. There are other effective means of SMR, such as deep tissue massages and ART (Active Release Therapy). They both work wonders and if you have the money to afford it, then by all means go for it.
But for those who can’t afford regular visits to the massage parlor, there is a much cheaper solution. And one that is just as effective.
There are a number of what I like to call soft tissue tools that you can pick up at any general fitness store (or even cheaper online) that you can use to show your soft tissues some lovin’.
If you were to do a search, you’d find thousands of them. But let’s be real here – there’s no need for so many.
There are only four that I would recommend.
1 – Foam Roller
The foam roller is the top tool in my fight against dysfunctional tissues. This cylindrically shaped, dense piece of foam comes in various sizes and densities. It’s light and portable and great for breaking down scar tissue.
I’ll be putting together a number of in-depth posts to show you the various types of foam rollers that are on the market and how you can take advantage of each of them.
2 – Tiger Tail
This is an awesome little tool for on-the-spot self-myofascial release. It’s basically a hand-held foam roller that you can bring with you anywhere and apply gradual pressure to almost any spot on the body. It’s very popular with athletes and it’s a must-have in my books.
In a future post, I will show you how to use the Tiger Tail for effective SMR.
3 – Lacrosse Ball
There is nothing better than utilizing our surroundings to better our bodies. If you look through your garage, you’re more than likely to find a lacrosse ball. And if you’re not the athletic type, then you can pick one up at any general fitness store for a few bucks. This is an excellent tool for applying more concentrated pressure to varying regions of the body.
In a future post, I will show you guys how to properly use a lacrosse ball for the most effective SMR.
4 – Thera Cane
This is the most amazing self-massaging tool on the planet. It’s basically a green stick shaped like a small letter ‘f’. It’s made out of really hard plastic and it has little balls at each of the ends that are used to apply super concentrated pressure to break through trigger points and muscle knots.
So there you have it. Four simple tools that you can use for your soft tissue work.
Remember that SMR is most effective when done consistently. I personally spend 5-10 minutes every day doing simple soft tissue work and it truly pays off.
Are there any other tools you use? Share in the comments below?