What is really happening to your connective tissue when you stretch, smash, and voodoo floss it?
The good news is our fitness culture is buying into the idea that we should practice daily maintenance on our bodies if we want to feel better and move better.
With every good lesson comes the extreme.
Now people are stretching, mobilizing and smashing their bodies to death.
If you look hard enough on social media you will see people tightly wrapping their body parts with bands and voodoo floss and then smashing the heck out of them with kettlebells and barbells (please re-read that sentence as it gets even funnier the 3rd time).
I’m told the goal is to “change” the tissue or restore the sliding surfaces or release a stuck area.
You’re probably doing none of these things!
What you are doing is working at the receptor level.
Different nerve fibers respond to different kinds of stimulus.
When you apply pressure at the dermal level (skin) or the superficial and deep level fascia you are stimulating receptors.
In doing this you can create a result that feels as if you changed your tissue.
You probably didn’t!
Connective tissues are capable of dealing with enormous amounts of force.
It wouldn’t make sense that you could change your tissue with a piece of rubber and your favorite stretch.
Surgeons use scalpels to cut away the white stuff!
It’s human nature to try and use brute force to change something that we can’t actually see.
The harder we press the more we feel, the more we must be making an impact, right?!
So I’m not actually saying that it’s bad to play around with these kinds of mobilizations as long as it’s safe.
But sometimes it’s not!
Depending on the person.
Everyone is different.
For athletes I ask these questions:
- How do you want to use your limited time?
- Do you want to attach yourself to things, roll around on the floor and “release” stuff?
- Or, do you want to spend your time learning to move better and getting the same effect you’re looking for?
Think quality movement if you want quality tissue.
Save the kettlebells and barbells for lifting not smashing apart your body.
Taylor Kruse is dedicated to empowering you with the truth and tools for improved health and performance.
His inspiration stems from more than 10 years of education and coaching through systems like Zhealth Performance, The Burdenko Method, and various movement practices.
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