Suffering From Too Much Tension
Tension can be a great thing, especially when you consider weight training movements all require a great deal of tension to perform any sort of lifting at a high level. Moving any amount of load requires muscular tension acting upon the skeleton to overcome the level of resistance imposed upon it. The only problem lies in the fact that our muscles are a soft tissue and can be quite fragile. Ever since starting training for my first powerlifting meet my elbows have been increasingly sore and stiff due to the severe bouts of heavy loading. Now most people would tell you to go get a massage to rid the body of all the excess tension, but I’m going to disagree. Massage is great if you just need to relax and recover from intense lifting sessions, but in this case keeping some muscles at the desired tension is desirable. You simply can’t loosen up every muscle in the body and expect to perform at a high level without adequate tension.
Active Release Technique to the rescue or ART for short. ART is a soft tissue therapy designed to take a tightened muscle, along with the tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves through a full range of motion under pressure to alleviate discomfort. The key in this scenario, such as the one presented in my venture into powerlifting is to loosen up the overly tight muscles and alleviate the right level of tension to remain strong enough to physically perform at a high level.
Lift Without Pain
Additionally, keeping the surrounding tissues unaffected creates the ability to move better and without pain. Whereas having excess tension throughout the soft tissue pulls awkwardly on the joints and rest of the musculature causing grinding and inflammation, thus resulting in pain. Allowing the muscle to return to a previous length tension relationship allows freedom of movement and a lack of pain.
The procedure for ART is very simple, yet effective and in as little as two or three treatments an athlete can return to activity. This makes it an excellent therapy for sports and athletics.
Why ART Over Other Therapies
The reason to feel confident in Active Release Technique is in the fact that it manipulates the movement capabilities of the body. It’s unlike a chiropractor who is trying to manipulate the bones of the spine, without dealing with the source of the problem. This is similar to doctors who are quick to apply medication and recommend surgery when the medicine isn’t enough to treat disease in which physical activity and a change in nutritional factors can cure many diseases.
ART deals with the soft tissue ailments at their sites to release the tension and enhance movement, allowing the body to recover. With the addition of proper strength training progressions and enhancing the overall strength and range of motion in weakened and tightened body structures coaches such as myself can cure an athlete of most problems and get them back in the fight, quicker than ever.
This makes ART the right way to go when you consider that you get such a quick return on investment.
So when you’re training hard and you get those tightened tissues that are simply too much to handle with your foam roller and little “spikey” it’s time to get some professional help to pinpoint the problem and deal with the source. Active Release can help get you back in the action faster than most other therapies simply because it deals with the source of the problem. Think about this the next time you get that overly tight sensation in the back of the neck or cramping pains in the knee, hip or ankle.
Check out Jose giving some free demonstrations of ART at Hostyle Conditioning on Saturday, 10 May 2014! He’ll be coming by Hostyle at 1:30pm in order to help out some clients with their excess tension! Leave me some comments if you have any questions!
Latest posts by Curd Hos (see all)
- The #1 Secret you need to know to succeed… - September 26, 2017
- Silverback Blueprint Podcast Episode 001 Rebuilding - July 25, 2017
- The Silverback Blueprint Podcast Episode #10 – VIDEO - July 19, 2017