Let’s say you’re an athlete who Crossfits multiple times a week, you may have a 9-5 job where a majority of your time is at your seat, you may spend your nights playing with your children and your free time is filled to the brim with weekend warrior activities. You’re training so that you can function optimally in life! Alas, every athlete experiences muscle tightness which often compromises mobility. Glute tightness from a squat workout, wound up IT bands from sitting, shoulders sore from carrying your children, or locked up hamstrings from playing sports on the weekends. Solutions? Foam roll, stretch when you are warm, our friend the lacrosse ball or a herd of lacrosse balls taped together and who doesn’t love a good 90 minute deep tissue massage or 15 minutes with Steph. All viable and very effective methods of breaking up fascia in order to move better and recover stronger.
My friend introduced me to the method and tool in the video at the end of the jump; the method we are discussing today. Now before you skip over this and read about this new fancy greatness I want to preface it with asking you to keep an open mind and as with anything new you may be introduced to in life, do your own research. Car buffing for myofascial release. To answer the question of who the heck and how did someone figure this out, we have to look at a method commonly used in muscle and tissue manipulation. Vibration has been used for a very long time in massage practices. Vibrating stimulates blood flow, breaks up scar tissue and helps drain off any waste accumulated by muscles from everyday activity. It can be done with rapid chopping movement of a therapist’s hands, a chair with vibrating motors or seat with rolling “magic fingers”. There are devices sold for hundreds of dollars geared specifically towards vibrating massage. But a more inexpensive, albeit unconventional solution, can be found in your local car parts or home improvement store. $30 and you’re on your way to being a more limber, WOD smashing, life dominating beast!
It won’t rip your skin off and it won’t give your skin that brand new just off the lot shine. Here’s the low down. When the buffer is turned on you will notice it spins. But not to fear. Once the soft pad comes into contact with your body it will stop spinning. It isn’t strong enough to continue spinning but it is strong enough to vibrate at a very high frequency. Voila, vibration equals heaven. I’m kind of a ticklish girl so initially my brain was confused by the tickle/muscle stimulating pain. I laughed, then went into my pain cave and continued that cycle. There are no hard defined rules to approaching buffing yourself, just guidelines and common sense. In the video, Brett Summers strongly advises against using in the abdomen area, it’s a hollow cavity filled with really important organs, heed his words. To begin, pick a large muscle group you feel needs attention, use the flat side of the buffer graduating to using the edges as your tolerance builds up or as your tightness dictates. I wouldn’t spend more than just a few minutes in each area and it’s better as a two person job as a singular person just can’t get all of the angles as demonstrated in the video. Relax and don’t fight the tingle. The nerves in your skin may react and a tingling itchy sensation may arise, acknowledge it and let it pass, this is normal. Continue for a few minutes moving slowly and deliberately up and down the length of the muscle.
I purchased a dual handled 6″ 4500 RPM model from Pep Boys. I saw a Ryobi brand single handle models at Home Depot and they were all around the same price. Before using it, I would suggest doing a test and retest of your mobility applicable to whatever areas of your body need attention. As an example if you are planning to break the junk up in your hamstrings do a squat depth test; for shoulders check your overhead or front squat rack position. I think you will be surprised at what this alternative tool can offer. Having said all this and not being a certified medical professional I would advise use of this method for a once a week treatment. Aim to maintain your mobility utilizing traditional foam rollers, theracanes, stretching, lacrosse balls and treat yourself to a nice deep tissue massage. A few people have experienced this in the gym, don’t be afraid to ask and try it out for yourself.