Rad Roller is on a, well, a roll in the UAE. The company’s balls, sticks and other massage and release tools are becoming a common sight at gyms and studios around the UAE. And next weekend marks the company’s first Rad Yoga Teacher Training, Friday and Saturday at Inspire Yoga in Dubai. It’s the first time teachers can learn for themselves how to teach their students to do self-myofascial release. So we spoke to Alison McLaughlin, Master RAD Mobility Trainer for the Middle East, about the top five areas we should be stretching out after a run or any exercise, and how to do it all properly.
Self-myofascial release involves stretching out and increasing the pliability of the restricted fascia (the tough connective tissue of your body). It is usually done with a foam roller or something as prosaic as a tennis ball.
“Rolling and releasing the muscles helps to increase blood circulation to aid with muscle recovery and soreness after training,” McLaughlin said.
Hold each of the following stretches for 10 slow breaths.
- Calves: “While sitting down, place the roller under the back of the calf muscle and roll slowly up and down, pausing when you feel a tender spot – that’s some fascia that needs releasing. Breathe! To put more weight on the tool, simply cross one leg over the other.”
- Hamstrings: “Sit on a chair and place the roller under the meaty part of the thigh. Lean forward to add more pressure and roll back and forth if needed.”
- Feet: “While standing upright, place a ball under the base of the foot in the center of the arch. Use a wall for balance while you lean into the ball, rolling it up and down the foot.”
- Shins: “From tabletop position, place the roller on the top of the ankle and slowly roll the tool upward toward the knee. Stop anywhere along the way that feels tender!”
- Lower Back: “Lying on the ground, place the roller above the sacrum onto the lower back. The centre of the tool is meant to simulate the spine — so we roll the muscles not the bones! If more pressure is needed, slowly raise one leg into table top — with knee over hip — and then maybe lift both.”
• The First Rad Yoga Teacher Training at Inspire Yoga in Dubai is Dhs2,500 for two days.
Featured photo: RAD double balls
Ashleigh Stewart is a New Zealand journalist, who has spent much of her career on the health beat, focusing most recently on mental health and wellbeing. She has worked in Japan, Indonesia, America, and has spent the last two years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. She's also an avid outdoorswoman and runner, having completed her first marathon in Dubai in 2017.