Karin Shetler, a fitness industry professional, has been auditing group fitness classes multiple times a week for nearly a decade. Each week, Karin will spotlight a class, instructor, style or technique for Group Fitness Roundup on NYHRC’s Magazine. In this week’s spotlight: Myofascial Release Technique.
There’s a lot of talk these days about Myofascial Release Technique (MRT), and how important this is to remaining balanced and pain-free (for more info on the benefits of MRT, click here). Some popular methods taught at NYHRC are The MELT Method by Sue Hitchman, as well as BodyTrac, an NYHRC-exclusive created and taught by Mike McCardle. I’ve been a big fan of Mike’s Yoga classes which are challenging, irreverent, fun and cheeky. His classes are creative and unusual and always full of laughs.
This week I took his BodyTrac class and followed it with Yoga, as I was curious to see whether using the self-myofascial release technique before taking a Yoga class would help me to 1) gain more range of motion, and 2) gain more proprioceptive awareness while doing the postures.
I feel that I accomplished both, and the challenging poses were easier because of the prep work! Rather than using foam rollers, as in MELT, we used RAD Rounds and RAD Rollers. These tools tend to get right into the intended tight spots, starting at the spine and working outwards. Mike wants the technique to not only help hydrate the fascial and connective tissue systems (one of the main purposes of MFR), but he also intends for it to inform his students’ posture and how they connect to their bodies, aiming ultimately for calm, balance and rest–things New Yorkers need!
I felt immediate relief of tight spots and actually felt energized for the challenging Alignment Yoga class that followed. Since Mike is an anatomy nerd, you always learn something new about the body. Most importantly, the students left smiling, laughing and feeling good…and so did I!
By Karin Shetler
Tune in next week for another edition Group Fitness Roundup, and click here to view last week’s!