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Intro to the RolFlex

(Episode Transcribed Directly from Video)

Mike: Hey guys, welcome to MOB of the week, episode 13. Obviously, you know who I am, coach Mike at MROC training but I've got a guest here today, I’ve got Patrick from the makers of roll-flex and I want to introduce Patrick and let him talk a little bit about this crazy blue device that you've seen me use in the past, you've seen me use at races, if you were trained out here at the gym, you’ve seen it hanging around on the walls, being used down on the floor. Patrick what is this and how do we use it and why?

Patrick: Sure. So, it's a self-myofascial release tool, the most common use of that or the most common product for that would be a foam roller. With the foam roller, you basically have body weight and gravity and those are the only tools available to you, take the step further, you're on the ground, you're contorting yourself, you're bridging, you're actually probably messing up your forearms.

Mike: People have seen me in those positions, sometimes, they're awkward, yeah.

Patrick: Exactly. So, the beauty of the role flex is instead of the body weight gravity, you're going to use leverage to deliver compression so, there's always a means of hitting it with leverage and the beauty of this is you're actually going to be able to get 95% of your body. So generally, I always say think of this middle piece as a physical therapist massage therapist arm, this is what you're going to aim with and with that in mind, you are in complete control of how you want to use the device. The most common approach is basically to just identify a tender spot and then, you're kind of, in this case, you're rolling your arm through and then, you find that hotspot, you're going to find a way of flexing the muscle so, it's kind of a trigger point technique. Basically, the analogy is where it's let's say, going with a physical therapist arm. So, they would dig into that sets hotspot, say, tennis elbow here but then, they would have you move your arm through that range of motion. Well, the beauty of this is that you can actually do that on your own, when you find your tendon spot, you hit it, you pin it for that matter and then, you're just moving your muscle through so, in a sense, you're actually massaging from the inside out.

Mike: Yeah. And I know if some of our viewers are probably familiar with Active Release Technique, we're going to be meeting with some really great ART practitioners later in this series and that's very common to a technique that we've been demonstrating called Tack & Floss, if you followed Kelly Starrett in the mobility series so, you find those pressure points, those adhesions, you lock them down and then, you take your joints the range of motion. We do a lot of climbing and what we do a lot of grip intensive stuff, barbells, kettlebells, monkey bars, ropes, so, we get people that their elbows flare up so, just exactly what you were doing, bringing out that is a really great way to help relieve some pain in the elbow. Now, you can take this apart and use it in other ways.

Patrick: Absolutely. Again, to get the 95% of the body. So, for example, one of the I would say, only 100% of people have tension up in their necks and quickly, I get in there with this to get new traps, this is your anchor so, you're locking down here and you're using leverage, you're pulling against here and the alternative would maybe be a lacrosse ball up against the wall, with that, once you find that magic spot, you got to freeze, if you move a fraction of an inch, you're out of luck, it goes away. So, with this guy instead, you search out your spot but then, when you find it, you get to go over it again and again, take a step further with the Active Release Technique, you can either move your neck through or in this case if it gets a little dramatic but do a full shoulder shrug and you're actually opening up the muscles. So again, that physical therapist’s equipment, think of the physical therapist arm, it's digging into your shoulder and you're opening up spots that you may not have really ever felt before. Again, if it's a lacrosse ball, you’ve got to find that spot and just stay still whereas this may encourage you to actually go through more mobile ranges of motion to really get in and work out work out that muscles and smooth things out.

Mike: Yeah. You know, I love it and we've gotten a few of these here at the gym, we keep them up on our mobility wall, we have a full reference chart. Now, when you buy one of these things, it actually comes with the whole chart that teaches you how to use it so, you don't have to call up Patrick you’re like, “hey, how do I do this?” they come up these awesome charts we always have on display at the gym and then, all the different tools, the extra strapping with the little thumb hooks and a couple different things that you can use to get full benefit from it. We would get good into all of them today but I did want to take the last few minutes of this video to show you how I use this thing every day. Now, Patrick recently came up the new brand-new version of this, what do you call this one?

Patrick: We call it the pro. So, it has dual rollers here and I kind of, consider it more like, it kind of, serves as a Mars rover. So, it's moving through here so, the beauty of this is you can get around or get to fold it, it gives a much more stability but then, you can actually get around, say, the elbow and the knee and you're in constant contact so, you can just work right through.

Mike: Yeah. You don’t have to stop and then readjust to the other side.

Patrick: No.

Mike: Now, I love it because I use this thing for my legs every day, a few of you know I'm pretty competitive in the Spartan Stadium circuit right now so, lots of stairs, a lot of tension in the calves and we get a lot of people new to running or changing running form and they get shin splints and a lot of tension up in the front of the leg. I literally every day, start in the front on the outside lateral side of the tibia and I'm starting rolling down and whether it's a pressure wave or a tack and floss technique or a side-to-side oscillation over top of those muscle fibres, just pumping up and down and around eventually, starting in the front, working my way to the back and when you get those really gnarly trigger points, you’re in control the tension here and how much you want to squeeze down and then, start flexing. We've been talking a lot about contract and release techniques, you can contract the calve and it's rock-hard, hold it for 3 to 5seconds, relax and fan it out. So, a lot of different techniques, you can use the pressure wave, the tack and floss, contract and release and what's nice about this double roller system is now, you can continue up over the knee, you can get behind the knee and get it here really nice as well. So, that's just one of the ways I use it every day so, Patrick thank you for ever coming and telling people a little bit about it, I think it's a great product, I’m glad we have it here, local company here in San Diego so, nothing wrong with supporting that. So, thanks for stopping by guys, this is being episode 13 of MOB of the week and next week, let's continue working on the calves, I'll show you how to get a barbell in there, just in case you ordered one of these, it hasn't showed up in the mail yet, we use a barbell temporarily but eventually, you want to get your hands on one of these bad boys.

Patrick: If I could add a few. So, the user guides are outstanding, if you want to get to our website,, if you go on pending your laptop or regular computer, you'll see a front and back gave an image of a body, you click on a body part, that launches a “how-to” video. On top of that, there's kind of, a typical see more videos and at this point, I think we're at 70 videos and that's increasing so, it's just a [06:53-indistinct]

Mike: You’re making me look bad because we're at episode 13, these guys have 70 different ways to use one of these things.

Patrick: You've got all the techniques and yeah, I'm impressed with how quickly you ran through all the techniques so, this is a wonderful example.

Mike: Awesome. Thanks so much guys, tune in again next week for our next episode.

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