Trigger Point for Triathletes- TP Massage Ball

Triathlon season is now fully underway. We have TP representatives at events all across the world each weekend as racers, spectators, and professional. The next event where you can chat with our TP Race Crew will be Ironman Coeur d’Alene next weekend. At each event, we get the opportunity to meet amazing athletes who have dedicated hours to training for their goals. We enjoy meeting each one and hearing the stories. We set up booths at these events not only to spread the Trigger Point message but to also answer questions of our long time users and enthusiasts.

Most athletes at these events must carefully pack their luggage, taking specific pre, post, and race day items for success. The TP Massage Ball, travels wonderfully and is simple enough to keep in a swim bag, transition bag, or even glove box- to help out on long drives. While we recommend using the TP Massage Ball alongside the TP FootBaller and TP QuadBaller, the TP Massage Ball can quickly become a triathlete’s best training tool.

ImageThe TP Massage Ball’s primary focus is to assist in managing minor aches and pains of the muscle by applying pressure to general areas.

As athletes, it is important to properly prepare and regenerate your muscles for the demands placed upon them in training and racing. While it is wonderful to use all over the body, the lower leg, psoas, piriformis, and pecs are some of the favorite areas to address pre- and post- workout/race with the TP Massage Ball.

Addressing the lower leg is essential for any sport. Because the range of motion of the foot is relative to the muscles in the lower leg, tight calf/soleus will alter your ability to properly perform all movements. While this concept is relatively easy to apply to running, swimming and biking motions are also greatly affected by lack of range of motion. In the swim, lack of range of motion in the foot will compromise the swim kick, forcing a swimmer to utilize the quadriceps more for buoyancy and motion. In the same vein, if the foot/ankle is not able to have full range of motion, pull up and push down in the pedal stroke will move the knee out of proper alignment, opening it up to injury.

TP Massage Ball can be used to directly address the calf/soleus region of the lower leg. It is also possible to address other lower leg muscles, such as the anterior tibialis. For more information on the anterior tibialis manipulation, please see our video online.

The psoas, is unique because it connects the groin to the mid-back. In swimming, a tight psoas inhibits proper body rotation, which compromises side breathing form and creates an undesired “flat” swimming body position. While cycling, the psoas isn’t allowed to fully extend, therefore becomes shortened and impedes leg motion in the stroke. Furthermore, when a shortened psoas is combined with the need for it to lengthen during the run, triathletes are doubly prone to psoas issues. Manipulating the psoas decreases compression on the lower back vertebra and on the diaphragm, increasing the ability to breath.

When the piriformis muscle, often associate with sciatica, is tight, elasticity in the gluteus region is minimized. A tightened and painful piriformis will alter the ability to properly kick in the swim, create pain while in the saddle, and keep most runners from their daily workouts. The TP Massage Ball is used to systematically address this key muscle in the gluteal region. Restoring tissue tolerance in the piriformis allows you to optimally transfer force through the hips resulting in greater movement efficiency and force production.

The pecs are another area to focus on using the TP Massage Ball. Opened pecs are essential to proper hand placement into the water and an efficient and forceful pull under the water. Use the TP Massage Ball to open and prep your pec muscles before your swims and to help remove dysfunction and recover the muscles after the workout. For cyclist, pecs are essential in upper body stability in road/track drop bar positioning, ability to keep shoulders dropped and chest open on tri bars, and ability to pull up when maneuvering over obstacles in mountain biking. For runners, addressing the pecs rotates the shoulder back naturally, allowing the arm to trust forward- rather than across the body.

You can view more on the pec manipulation in this Xterra Wetsuit Pre-Swim video.

Please contact us if you have any questions.  We want to help you train harder, race faster, and recover quicker this season.


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