In the ATA System, we use self massage and mobilizations to break up restrictions and restore mobility. The next step is to stretch those muscle fibers and joints out so that the body can register that a change has occurred and adapt accordingly. You see muscles have what is known as a resting length and tension. This means that at rest, a muscle has an ideal length and tension that allow it to function at full capacity in terms of the force it can generate and the velocity at which it can move the joint it supports. Changes to that resting length and tension, whether it’s loss of mobility or increased tension in the form of knots, spasms, etc, will limit the muscles performance. The bigger the change, the more significant the loss of function. Stretching is a great way to help the muscle reset and restore how the brain and nervous system utilize that muscle.
The key to success with stretching is frequency, frequency, frequency. In sports, we literally perform the same actions millions of times whether its steps, pedal rpms, or swim strokes. It’s going to take more than a few massage sessions to get things back to normal on the mobility front.
What you need to get started:
In most cases, nothing at all. Nice to haves include a long strap or belt that you can hold onto.