Whether you've just completed the SOS Triathlon or you've been stuck at your desk all day, we could all use some soft tissue love periodically. Many of us don't have the time or money to devote to routine professional massage therapy sessions which is where a cheap, inanimate object becomes a great substitute: the lacrosse ball. If you're just introducing yourself to soft tissue mobilization or you're a bit tender from a grueling race, I prefer to use a soft or indoor lacrosse ball. Regular lacrosse balls can be a great option as well but there is always a time and place for each version. If you don't have access to a lacrosse ball just yet, start with a tennis ball and graduate up to a lacrosse ball when you can.
Using body position and leverage you can take advantage of the shape and firmness of a lacrosse ball to address any tender spots, tightness, trigger points, etc. Addressing restrictions like these leads to better quality of movement which often means feeling better during your activities and with your recovery. Since the SOS Triathlon was this past weekend I wanted to share a few videos by Kelly Starrett that would demonstrate ways to utilize lacrosse balls for hot spots you may be dealing with after the race. That being said, these are by no means limited to triathletes and can be incredibly helpful for anyone. Enjoy!
Areas around the thoracic spine and shoulder blade. If the floor is too difficult or uncomfortable, the same thing can be done standing and leaning against a wall.
Areas around the anterior and posterior shoulder.
Areas around the calf, knee, and hamstrings. There are a couple other alternatives to a lacrosse ball that you may like as well.
Areas around the hip, glutes and psoas.
Besides September being the start of apple picking season (which is exciting in its own right; Dressel Farms is my favorite) it also means the exceptional SOS (Survival of the Shawangunks) Triathlon is upon us. Since 1983, this unique 8 stage triathlon has been taking place in the beautiful Shawangunk Mountains and has grown in popularity drawing athletes from all over the country and sometimes internationally. Covering a total of 50.5 miles with 1 bike stage, 4 running stages and 3 swimming stages it is most definitely a test of strength and endurance but also of tactics and sheer willpower. Race day is this Sunday, September 8th, and the gun goes off bright and early at 7am at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.
In addition to the race, the SOS Expo will debut this year on Saturday, September 7th from 10:30am to 3pm in the Rock & Snow parking lot on Main Street. I am thrilled to have been invited to represent and introduce Momentum Physical Therapy of New Paltz to the community. I will be available to answer any questions, offer post race recovery advice, chat about the 'Gunks or anything else as well as demonstrate some exercises and self treatment techniques. Other vendors will be showcasing triathlon gear and apparel, health and wellness services, and information about community organizations. For a full list of vendors and more details about the SOS Expo, you can find them here.
I strongly encourage everyone to come check out the SOS Expo on Saturday and head up to the mountains on Sunday to help support and cheer on some amazing and inspiring athletes. Even if you don't like triathlons, you can spend the day enjoying all that Mohonk and Minnewaska State Park Preserve have to offer. And in case you didn't have enough incentive yet, the weather forecast is looking perfect: mid 70s and sunny this weekend!
Dr. Greg Cecere
Your personal physical therapist, movement educator and knowledge dispenser.
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The contents of this blog is meant for educational purposes only. Momentum Physical Therapy of New Paltz and Dr. Greg Cecere are not responsible for any harm or injury that may occur due to any information on this blog as it is by no means a substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.