Method for Active Release Work
If you have never done any active release work before, don’t worry! It’s a good time to start now.
Firstly I want to explain why we give you release work in the first place. The whole idea is to draw a blood supply to the ‘tight areas’ which are called adhesions. Muscles need the blood supply for nutrients, oxygen and for healing. Adhesions develop as a result from excess inflammation when there has been a muscle micro tear/tear. These Adhesions have an annoying habit of blocking the blood supply to the muscle causing it to go into a state of spasm which is why you feel the tightness in the muscle. This tightness can then impact on joint range of movement and then further down the line impact on joint stability due to weakness.
I liken adhesions to ‘toffee’. Toffee when it is cold is rock solid, but if you heat it in a pan it then turns to liquid and is more mobile right? Adhesions work in the same way. Hence why heat is advised for muscle injuries 24hrs-48hrs after an injury, as the adhesions are more in their ‘liquid form’ and more blood supply can then get to the injured muscle.
How to do Release work correctly:
- Play around with the area that you are releasing to find the spot which you notice to have the most tension
- Once you have found the spot, hold the lacrosse ball/tennis ball/peanut there
- The pressure for most areas should be a 3/10. If you want a different scale, think of it as no light at one end and bright light on the other, I want you to be in the dim light area.
- Remember to breath through out the release work
- Once the tension starts to ease, then we can repeat this process but on a new spot.
- There are a few exceptions to the 3/10 rule, some muscles are just more tender than others. These are QL, TFL, Lats and Pecs. These can reach a 5-7/10. But that is ok, you just have to be aware that these ones are a little more intense.
- Lastly, I just want to emphasise the 3/10 (dim light) pressure. Active release is not about the ‘no pain no gain’ belief and smashing the muscle for faster results. It’s about gradual changes and gradual releases which combined with an order and specific combinations of releases will benefit you better.