By Philippos Kyriacou and Dan Giordano, Bespoke Treatments
We definitely don’t have to tell you to get yourself to that workout class or outside for a run, but we may have to tell you that spending hours working out and stressing your body day-in-and-day-out will stall your progress. Rest and recovery are essential components to any strength and conditioning program, and most coaches and trainers will argue it’s just as or more important than the exertion itself.
Recovery must occur before progress can be made. It’s important for staying injury free, as well as for long-term consistent training, and maxing out from time to time. We have identified some great tools that we think every athlete and workout warrior should have at home to help achieve this recovery.
If you want to help relieve muscle aches, tightness, and overall soreness, as well as help your body gain strength, mobility, and recover more quickly — you need myofascial release. The best part is, you can do it yourself, and the tools you need are well within reach.
So, what do you do once you have one? Get down on the ground, start with your legs, and begin rolling your calves, Achilles, and shins, moving up through all the muscles in your legs, back, arms, shoulders, and chest, until you reach your neck. If you feel a knot, stop, put sustained pressure on it with the foam roller, breathe deeply, and sit there. Slowly, the tension will begin to release and the roller will dig into the fascia. It takes time and it can be uncomfortable, but the results are well worth it. The movement should be slow and controlled, and if you feel a knot and some pressure, don't avoid it. Those spots need it the most.
Integrating some ball work into your regular exercise can actually further your progress. You need to get rid of adhesions within the muscle, commonly known as “knots,” so you can increase your range of motion and allow the muscle to contract the way it's supposed to. Rolling your muscles on lacrosse balls provides a deep tissue massage like you would get from your physical therapist or orthopedic massage therapist. While the foam roller can help increase blood flow and loosen tight muscles, a ball will have a more intense impact in a very, very targeted way.
This special kinesiology/sports tape provides support while allowing full range of motion. Tape is used to decrease pain, unload tissue via decompression, and provide a novel stimulus that improves body awareness. RockTape microscopically lifts the skin away from the muscle and fascia below, which decompresses the area and promotes blood flow. It helps your body coordinate movement as if it weren’t hurt, hence allowing it to heal properly. When kinesiology tape is properly applied, many of our clients feel as though we fixed their injury instantly. In fact, it helps to change how your body interprets pain, turning down the pain “volume” that your body hears. RockTape does so by affecting the nerve endings and different types of receptors in the skin of the injured area.
A great way to improve mobility, reduce soreness, and attack adhesions. By applying rolling pressure to muscles following a workout, blood flow is increased. As a result, waste products from various metabolic processes are removed, recovery is enhanced, and soreness reduced. An additional benefit of using The Stick is that it allows you to locate and treat specific tender areas in the musculature. By applying the rolling pressure to your trigger points, you will help improve muscle function and range of motion in your joints.
One of the many things they are useful for is stretching and mobility work. They are particularly useful if you are stretching on your own, but want to replicate the extra pressure that can be applied by another person in partner stretching. Mobility bands can be used to stretch hips, legs, and shoulders in particular. They are also very useful for mobilizing joints, for muscle activation.
Active recovery has long been used as a form of reducing lactic acid and relieving stiffness, and usually takes the form of cycling, swimming, or light running. However, this still loads already fatigued muscles, it puts pressure on tight and sore tendons, and could put you at risk for injury. This electrostimulation device induces a very specific type of activity on muscle fibers, which allows them not only to recover more efficiently from strenuous activity, but also considerably decreases muscular spasms. Because electrostimulation does not result in general fatigue or cardiovascular fatigue, it creates muscular effort, but it does not impose excessive load on already fatigued muscle and joints.
Daniel Giordano received his Doctor of Physical Therapy honors from the prestigious New York University and quickly progressed his professional career in sports & orthopedic rehabilitation at a highly regarded physical therapy center in NYC. His high service standard, quality of care, and outstanding results led him to the corporate world. Dan became a wellness concierge - acting as physical therapist, strength & conditioning specialist, and health coach for a respected hedge fund in NYC. While his work ethic remained strong, his capacity to care and desire to treat and help others was not being fulfilled. It was here that Dan realized that this investment in health should be available to everyone and so he co-founded Bespoke Treatments. Excelling in his field, Daniel has gone on to serve on the medical team at many National Championships, for CEOs, Broadway performers, and professional, NCAA, and Olympic athletes. He specializes in orthopedic rehabilitee ion, manual therapy, pain management, Graston technique, fascial movement taping (Rocktape), and strength & conditioning coaching.
Philippos Kyriacou is a Sport Science and Exercise Physiologist, and earned his degree at Brunel University in London, England. A short and injury filled career as a professional rugby player gave him the opportunity to work with the Elite Player Development Group at a Premiership Rugby team, while also taking charge of sponsorship, new business development, and marketing as the Community Marketing Manager. A spontaneous trip around the world led him to settle in New York City and back to the world of Exercise Physiology, only this time round focusing in the Physical Therapy industry. Philippos is the Yang to Daniel’s Yin, but they share the same treatment philosophy, care approach, and desire to give the highest quality service possible, so Bespoke Treatments was founded.