By Arysta Bogner-Wood, B. Kin.
Mobility Coach & Kettle Bell Instructor
World Champion Bikini Model & Developer of the Travel Roller ®
Your spine is like a Tree. The Integrity of the Tree is only as strong and balanced as the roots and branches. To have a strong Tree Trunk that can weather the storms of life stress and training we must have the proper balance of stability and mobility. Using the Travel Roller® 4.3 we can effectively balance out tight over loaded areas of the body and relieve back pain with daily self-myofascialrelease (SMR) techniques. We tend to think that if our back is in pain or hurts then that is the part that needs fixing. Rolling our back always feels good but might be a short-term fix to a chronic overload pattern in our body.
Try these Top 3 Travel Roller® Exercises for a Healthy Back:
1. Start with the Roots, the FEET. Rolling your feet with Acupressure Balls is the first place to affect the superficial back line where a lot of tension is stored. Using the Travel Roller Acupressure Kit Balls start with the yellow softest ball and progress to the medium orange ball and then hardest red ball on the feet. Work through the arch of the foot, the heel and the toes. Create good compression and stretch on the toes and plantar flexion with some shin angle changes for 1-2 minutes per foot. This can be done pre and post training anytime. By using this SMR technique we are effectively lengthening the “superficial back line” that runs up through the feet, calves, hamstrings and erector spine muscles and the back of the neck and head, according to Thomas Myers – Anatomy Trains. Try a bent over hamstring test to see how tight your back line is. Notice the effect that simply rolling the feet has on your body and back.
2. Secondly, how much of your day is spent in a sitting or bent over position. If your tree is constantly hunched over not having straight up posture then it’s going to become imbalanced. Tightness is most dominant in the Hip Flexors, which influences the position of the hip, which results in lordosis and potential imbalance in the low back. Specifically the Rectis Femoris and the Psoas as predominant hip flexors are the focus of SMRcare for a healthy back. Focusing your intension on unwinding the hip flexor and psoas as well as recruiting the pelvic floor, core and glutes are essential to create a long term consistent healthy back that can take the overload of life.By rolling out and unlocking the hip flexor we are affecting the superficial front line critical for anyone wanting a healthy back!
3. Lastly the Adductors. The inner thighs can have a great impact on low back health and function. The focus of this influence on lower back health is the adductor magnus, which is the largest muscle in the inner thigh. It can be over compensated and tight due to a weak core and glutes and once its too tight and short can really affect pelvis position, and subsequently low back health. If you are wanting to squat, lunge, deadlift, and jump higher you must unlock your adductors!
The best ways to unlock the adductors are by placing the Travel Roller on the inner thigh in a plank position on the ground with the leg out to the side with knee bent. Rocking side to side with small cross fiber movements. Also you can try sitting on a chair, bench or coffee table with your leg handing off the edge andapply gentle pressure into the adductor area. The Travel Roller is the most effective Roller for these deep areas because of its firmness, 4.3 diameter and grippy surface that helps slide the looser packed connective tissue. You can instantly get a physiological effect by using the Travel Roller. Try it out your self- you will notice the difference the correct roller makes.
Take care of your back by daily rolling maintenance; the key is having the proper balance and symmetry on all parts of the body. Be mindful to have balance between the volumes of overload/training to the amount of regenerative activities. A healthy back is also a well-rested back.
Create the healthiest back of your life use the Travel Roller combined with inner core integrity exercises, be consistent and persistent and you will have the freedom to BE, DO and HAVE –back pain free! For more information visit www.travelroller.com