This post was most recently updated on June 18th 2023.
Summer has arrived, and whether you're an athlete or just committed to an active lifestyle, you're likely practicing and repeating movements to improve your performance in various activities. To help you reduce the risk of injury and keep your body feeling great all summer long, I've got some simple MELT moves that will address issues caused by repetitive movements and postures required for summer sports.
MELT is not exercise, and it doesn’t replace anything in your current routine. This method directly addresses aspects of your body that no training regimen, diet, or medicine can affect. It’s a game changer.
As you incorporate these MELT moves into your routine, you'll soon discover the benefits of rehydrating your connective tissue and rebalancing your nervous system. With these techniques, you'll eliminate stuck stress, improve whole-body efficiency, and gain a competitive advantage in your performance.
Back Thigh Shear
Rx for runners and perfecting your downward dog
The hamstrings are a culprit to low back pain and hip tightness. Often times our training routines miss this hidden problem. The back of your legs can become too tight and the connective tissue too stiff causing misalignments all the way up to the pelvis. Try this simple MELT Move from the Lower Body Compression Sequence to treat a key cause of back and hip pain rather than beating up the victims where it hurts.
- Place the roller under your upper thighs. Your legs are relaxed and straight. Slowly drag your legs together and apart like jumping jacks to Shear the back of the thighs 4–5 times.
- Bend one leg and relax it on the roller, and then drag the other leg in and out 4–5 times. Repeat on the other thigh. Move the roller halfway down your thighs and repeat the techniques, and then move it just above your knees and repeat.
Foot Glide, Shear, and Rinse Treatment
Whether you are swinging a club or racquet, doing yoga or running, your feet are the foundation of the body. Add this simple sequence as a pre-training treatment to improve ground force reaction, muscular timing, and alignment from the feet up.
- MELT Mini Foot Treatment: Rotational control of the pelvis starts with proper ground force control. This is actually the key missing link of any swing sport from golf to tennis or baseball. To improve ground force control, try the MELT Mini Foot Treatment as a first step. Three simple compression techniques will improve neurological connection from your feet to your head, improve the stability and positioning of your pelvis, ribs, and head, and increase the reaction of the core mechanical stabilizers that keep your spine flexible yet stable at the same time.
- Glide: Place the large soft ball under your foot just in front of your heel. Glide your heel left and right over the ball slowly with consistent, gentle pressure to prepare the tissue and decrease excessive stimulation to the delicate sensory nerve endings in the foot. Slowly allow the ball to move left and right all the way to the back of your heel and then in the same motion, return it back to where you began, just in front of the heel.
- Shear: Sustain consistent pressure just in front of the heel and wiggle your foot left and right over the ball so the ball remains relatively still. This tight, controlled pressure is like working fluid into a sponge. Once you shear for 15-20 seconds compress the ball straight down like squeezing a sponge to push old fluid out of the tissue.
- Rinse: Start with the ball under your forefoot just behind your toes and roll the foot over the ball from toe to heel with consistent pressure. Once you reach your heel, lift your foot, return the ball under your forefoot under your second toe and repeat. Rinse under each knuckle that coincides with your toes to your heel 5-10 passes. Repeat on the other foot.
Upper Body Compression Sequence
This is a great treatment post swimming or a game of golf to decrease the tendency of asymmetrical neck strength. Doing the crawl makes most people breathe from one side, turning their head repeatedly to the left or right lap after lap. Swinging a golf club is always from one side too. This can cause excess tension in the trapezius and upper body. Try this simple sequence to eliminate accumulated stress in the supportive connective tissue that keeps your upper back stable and your neck tension free and balanced over your body.
Upper Back Glide and Shear
- Point your elbows at the ceiling. Engage your core and lift your hips toward the ceiling to bring the roller to the top of your upper back. Slowly Glide the roller up and down over just 1–2 vertebrae.
- Rest your pelvis on the floor, curl your ribs slightly, and create 3-4 small side bending motions to Shear one small area. Pause and take a deep breath before you move the roller down your back 2 inches and repeat the Glide and Shear techniques.
Upper Back Rinse
- Bring the roller back to the top of your upper back and slowly Rinse by pressing the roller down your upper back with consistent, light pressure. Curl your ribs forward as you move down your back.
- When you get near the bottom of your ribs, return to the top in a quick motion. Repeat the Rinse 3–4 times, and then rest your hips on the floor.
Now that you're equipped with these MELT moves, go ahead and embrace the summer season with confidence, knowing that you've got the tools to maintain a pain-free, active lifestyle. So, get out there, enjoy your favorite sports and activities, and let the MELT Method work its magic on your body.
Have a fantastic, injury-free summer!