Trigger Ball Release vs Stretching
There are many effective ways to relieve tight muscles. One approach is to actively stretch an area of your body, like your hamstrings, before you engage in your running activity. It is quite common to take a few minutes to warm up your hamstrings and other leg muscles with some dynamic stretching before you hit the pavement. Another way to achieve flexibility is to use a trigger ball on your tight muscles. This is more of a therapeutic approach to loosening connective tissue in order to achieve more flexible muscles. Which one of these is better and more effective? When should you implement a stretching routine or a trigger ball release? Let's take a look.
The Difference Between Trigger Ball Release & Stretching
A trigger ball is a small 63.5 mm ball made of firm natural rubber. It can be used to release myofascial tissue in specific trigger points in the body. These are areas of the body that tend to bind up and feel tight restricting movement and flexibility. The trigger ball is able to accurately pinpoint those troubled body parts.
A stretching technique is designed to target a compound set of muscle groups. The idea is to lengthen tight muscles, improve elasticity, and thereby improve flexibility to better perform a task or exercise.
The Benefit of Stretching
Regular stretching is quite beneficial to any active person. Not only does it relieve tension in the targeted muscles, increase range of motion, but it can help to reduce stress, body aches, and stretching can improve your posture.
A common form of stretching is called dynamic stretching; often performed before an exercise like running or weight lifting. The idea is to move the body in a functional manner that mimics the exercise you intend to do. For example, you may perform deep lunges before running or circular motions with your arm to loosen your shoulder before doing chest presses.
Static stretching is also very common; it is the act of holding a position in order to achieve the elasticity and elongation of a particular muscle. The action entails stretching a muscle group, like your calves or hamstrings, to its furthest point and holding the position for a period of time.
Both of these styles of stretching are effective at preparing your body for active movement and also recovery after you have exercised.
The Benefit of Trigger Ball Release
When you experience knots in your body or chronic aches that just don't seem to go away, using a trigger ball may help these trigger point areas. Throughout your body you have "webbing" that basically holds your ligaments, bones, and organs in place. This is called fascia. During active movement or sustained immobility, the fascia in the body may experience micro-tears or bind up resulting in discomfort, pain, and lack of mobility.
In order to get rid of these knots and release this bound up connective tissue, using an object like a trigger ball can effectively target and release these adhesions. Applying pressure with a trigger ball along and between the muscles in your shoulder, for example, can relieve you of those knots and tightness.
Which Should You Do?
Since both of these measures have their own list of benefits, which one should you do? This may depend on your overall intention so you can decide which is better for you and when to implement the exercise.
When To Implement Stretching
If you simply need to warm up your muscles and prepare them for an active exercise, performing dynamic stretching before you jog or lift weights is quite effective. Further, when you have completed your workout, static stretching is helpful to relieve your used muscles. Stretching after weight lifting can reduce later soreness by increasing blood flow to these worked out body parts.
When To Implement Trigger Ball Release
If your muscle tension is more chronic, implementing trigger ball release exercises can be very helpful. By using this therapeutic technique, it has a long-lasting effect. Targeting these bound up areas in the body with a trigger ball exercise results in myofascial release, increase blood flow, greater range of motion, improved flexibility, and reduced physical and mental stress.
This type of work may be done in between workouts for five to six days to effectively release those knots. You will find that your performance in the gym or on the track will significantly improve.
So, depending on your physical needs, you cannot go wrong with either of these very effective self-care techniques.
Check out our Mobility and Activation Guide for some tips on how to use our products.