“DO IT YOURSELF” MASSAGE
Sore muscles are proof of hard work, but they can also cause a great deal of discomfort. During bowling season, a variety of muscles can become sore from training or games. Maybe it’s your triceps one week, but your glutes are particularly sore the next. Regardless of the location of your discomfort, there is no better feeling than relieving the pain with a good stretch or massage. While stretching and massage are great options for addressing muscle tightness, there is another technique that targets trigger points. Trigger points are specific “knots” that form in either your muscle or the thin collagen casing; fascia (breakingmuscle.com). If your press firmly and run your hand along a muscle, these trigger points often present as small lumps. Whether the knots are in your muscles or fascia (which encases your muscles), they can negatively affect your mobility and performance, which can eventually lead to injury.
Self-myofascial release is a popular technique, used by athletes at all levels, for dealing with trigger points. This is really just an intricate term for “self-message”. It can be performed with a foam roller, a Theracane, or a variety of different balls (lacrosse or tennis ball ideally). If interested, below are links for both foam roller and Theracane purchase.
What’s great about self-myofascial release is that you are in complete control of what you are doing to your body. Only you know where you are particularly sore, or how much pressure your muscles can take. Below there is a suggested list of particular muscle groups that may need attention after bowling. Every body is different so make sure to pay attention to what your muscles need. However, be careful NOT to apply prolonged pressure to a bone or joint.
Directions for foam rolling:
Place the foam roller on the ground, target a specific muscle group, and apply moderate pressure with the roller. It is important not to roll too fast: no more than one inch per second. When you roll over a trigger point, hesitate on that sensitive spot for a few seconds. The intensity of the rolling pressure can be controlled by the amount of body weight you are putting onto the roller. If you want more intense pressure, apply more of your body weight.
Bowling specific muscles:
IT band (see video below)
Directions for using a Theracane:
Use the Theracane to probe specific knots on your back. This is a great tool for accessing hard to reach places.
Directions for using a ball:
While lying on the ground, place the ball under a specific muscle or trigger point. Rest on the specific spot for a while, allowing the muscles to relax and tension to dwindle. A tennis ball is a good ball to start with, as it is much softer and more forgiving than a lacrosse ball.
Bowling specific muscles: