Sunday, February 24, 2008
I recently had the pleasure of finally being on Team Rif as an assitant RKC at the San Jose Russian Kettlebell Challenge. At the very first RKC I went to, Mark Reifkind was serving as a Team Leader. Now a Senior RKC, Rif also presents a very valuable section at the Level 2 RKC on "Restoring Lost Physical Function".
I can remember when I walked into the Level 2 RKC, saw the foam rollers, and promptly rolled my eyes. I'd tried them a little before and didn't think they were anything special. The experiences I'd had with them before felt like "a lot of nothing". Then again, I wasn't really taught how to use them by someone with Rif's level of firsthand experience in terms of dealing with serious injuries and recovering from them.
Instead of merely lying down on the roller and rolling it along the length of your spine, Rif had a plethora of wickedly painful foam roller-based myofascial release techniques that blew my mind. They helped restore my shoulders, aiding in the recovery of my rotator cuffs, and released some wicked tension in my hips and legs, which was contributing to some lower back issues. Rif's presentation won me over to the foam roller, and it's now a regular part of my own training and maintenance routine. I also use it as part of the maintenance program for some of my patients in my orthopedics clinic.
Now I hate to admit this, but if the "foam roller" part of the RKC II course was optional and if someone other than Rif was presenting it, I might have been so arrogant as to skip it, based on my previous experience with the roller. That's a frightening thought since I've obviously gained so much from the use of it following Rif's presentation.
As forward-thinking individuals who are geared towards progress, growth, and evolution, we need to remind ourselves to let go of our preconceived notions in order to let those powerful processes occur. And if you haven't experienced the foam roller firsthand, click on the pic above and get a 3' long 6" round roller to begin feeling how that simple tool can unlock some of your longstanding restrictions! Most importantly, if you're an RKC reading this and you haven't gotten to the Level 2 RKC, what the hell are you waiting for?!?!?!?!?