Self Myofascial Release for Aerial Arts & Pole
Pull-ups and pull-ups all done with pointed toes and controlled movement, right? Here we are again talking about overdeveloped muscles that come from repetitive movement and how injuries occur because of this over-development.
Pole and aerial arts activate the pectorals and latissimus dorsi big time. We also work trapezius, rhomboids and the muscles of the shoulders. Plus we use everything involved in the core. However let’s break this down and focus on the lats and pecs and how to release muscle tightness with self myofascial release.
Myofascial release means using pressure to release tight spots in the muscles. The Fascia is a sheath-like covering over the muscles of the body, and loosening the fascia can help tight muscles release underneath. Myofascial release is a technique used in the world of massage therapy.
When doing self myofascial release begin at the point of origin of the muscle and end at the insertion point. Using a foam roller, a tennis ball or the hand roll away from the point of origin toward the insertion point. Stop at any tight spot, hold the roller at this point until the muscle knot releases, this could be 30 seconds to 90 seconds depending on tightness. Once the spot releases slowly continuing rolling out toward the insertion point, stopping at any tight knots and releasing them. This may require going over a tight area several times to get full release. Many people like to do a few "preparation" rollovers, not stopping at the knots, to help the fascia open before they begin the deeper work.
Here are three self myofascial release techniques targeted to trouble spots on aerialists and pole dancers.
Begin inward on the chest at the sternum and roll the foam roller or tennis ball slowly outward toward the shoulder insertion. You may need to use the hands to release knots at the pec/shoulder connection area.
Begin at the lower back point of origin of the lat and work upward toward the insertion point at the armpit/shoulder connection. Most aerialist will find knots on the upper wing area of the lat. Sometimes using the hand to literally massage and work out this tightness works better than the ball or foam roller, because you can pinpoint the knots.
Located between the spine and the scapula, usually closer in to the scapula, just know that the rhomboid knot actually has to do with tight pecs and lats pulling on the rhomboids and traps. You can release this knot, working from the spine toward the shoulder blade, but this myofascial release will not solve the actual problem. Focus first on releasing the lats and pecs.