Part one of our look into personal recovery provided a solid foundation for building a recovery strategy that works for you. To get even more out of the massage experience, let's now share some dynamic movements in order to increase mobility as well as hydrate and lubricate your tissues. Remaining passive during massage is natural, as we want to relax, unwind, and let the vibration flow. Readers of previous blogs will appreciate that we at Power Plate® always take a 3D approach in all that we do. The Gray Institute® of Applied Functional Science® founded the 3D approach and refer to the primary 'big rocks' of the body. Within this philosophy and spirit of motion, we can help you take your recovery to the next level.
Big Rock #1
The calf can get pretty tight and knotted up from our daily activities. The foot and ankle are often the main drivers of motion in many of our common movements, so they, along with the calf, take the brunt of the force. Issues at these points can lead to problems elsewhere in the body, so during your next blissful calf massage try manipulating the foot, with the calf in contact with the Power Plate platform, allowing the tissues to absorb the vibration in the most beneficial way:
Sagittal (forward and backward) - simply point the toes upward toward your chin then away/downward to create dorsiflexion and plantar flexion (like pumping the brakes on your car).
Frontal (side to side) – turning the feet/ankles left and right gives us a little pronation and supination with the latter being vital to how your body absorbs impact from the bottom up.
Transverse (rotation) - giving your midfoot (Lisfranc joint complex for the scientists) some manipulation through rotation is an absolute joy! Cup your heel with one hand and the other hand gently gripping the foot just south of the toes; now ease those joints through a slight twist. That should wake up the foot.
Big Rock #2
Let’s uncover some new massage with motion for the next big rock, the hip. Lay the upper body on a support cushion or step, placing your pelvis on the platform with eyes to the sky then move one leg at a time:
Sagittal - bend your hip and bring your knee up toward your chest to produce flexion then extend the leg while lowering the heel to the floor to extend the hip.
Frontal - repeat the hip and knee bend up to the chest and let the leg slowly fall downward toward the ground, then reach the leg across the body in the opposite direction. Now we have adduction and abduction.
Transverse - to get rotation both internally and externally keep your knees bent with both feet in contact with the platform. Slowly open your knees and let them fall towards the floor, then close, bringing your knees back together.
Big Rock #3
The thoracic portion of the spine (middle of the upper back) is not only home to the shoulders but is often the source of a lot of discomfort. A quick and easy back massage (as demonstrated in this blog's accompanying picture) will hit the spot. The high reach up and overhead takes one portion of the thoracic through both Sagittal and Frontal planes. The other, lower placed arm provides the movement into rotation. When the movement is repeated, both sides of your shoulder blades get hits of motion in all three planes. All while the lower back is absorbing that much needed vibration.
Be dynamic….be healthy…. be good to the big rocks and your body will thank you for it.
By David Howatson, Performance Health Systems UK Master Trainer