To ANY individual considering learning SMR I would say, do IT!
The immediate benefits that I have experienced and seen time and again are injury prevention and increased range of motion. But the side benefits include increased anatomical knowledge and I would even argue better proprioception. Someone who does regular SMR not only brings about muscular relief by stripping adhesions, working out knots and shutting off excessive muscle signaling but they become more positionally aware as effective rolling movements are about awareness of angles and the location of different muscles. Not to say anatomical knowledge is a prerequisite, certainly people can learn which “movement” in what “position” they need to do to hit their adductors wihtout knowing that muscle group by name, but you almost can not help but become more aware and intelligent about the body when you incorporate SMR into your routine.
An added point I would make to any fitness trainer wanting to learn SMR and get certified is that the value is tremendous. I use what I have learned from SMR more regularly than any given tidbit from my six other certifications. I have used my SMR knowledge to bring great relief to members again and again at my gym. Given people’s tendency to put off things like proper cooldowns and self care I can only speculate how many people might have burned out on CrossFit from minor or even major injuries if I were not getting people on the rollers or lacrosse balls after class or catching them when they come in. I have a reputation in my gym for knowing how to take care of the membership and am sought out among the other trainers to assist in all sorts of muscular relief. I make it a point when doing an introductory class with potential new members to work in a cooldown with 1 or 2 SMR movements to let the person know that I care about them more than knowing only how to “beat” them up and get them sore. SMR shows that you value the overall welfare of everyone who comes through your door.
I’ve known Jeff for (I’m guessing approximately) 6 years, which was around the time that I took his (SMR) training class. I’ve gained a lasting professional resource through his manual, as well as with him directly. I have lower back issues, and each time I know exactly what to do to mitigate them. I actually have some (techniques) memorized, due to the frequency of the tightness in the lower back area, the piriformis, the multifidus on each side, the glutes, and the hamstrings. If I don’t remember what I need to do, I simply go to the manual and index it. There are days that I cannot bend over; at all. But in 5 minutes, I can function. Eventually and over time, I get back to normal. It’s easy to use and the methods work every time. I get instant relief. I continue performing the method(s) each day, actually in accordance with the manual based on priority, or I’ll have the same issue.
In addition to the personal use I’ve had over this time, I’ve also been able to successfully mitigate any issues clients have had with tightness in various body areas. What I like about Jeff’s methods is that I’m passing the knowledge for their particular issue to them, so that they can perform the method on themselves. They don’t have to rely on me to assist them or to do it for them, once I’ve shown them how to correctly perform the procedure(s).
Finally, I’ve had a lasting professional relationship with Jeff since we first met, and he continues even today to be there for me as a reference. I’m glad we can scale that relationship if necessary also, as for a minor question or issue that I have, he’s happy to give me his thoughts, and if it’s something I’m interested in paying for, we can always work that out as well.
I think in summary, Jeff’s class is not just a training class. It’s an agreement or a partnership in passing this information along to help as many people as possible. Yes, I have the book The Supple Leopard. But, I cannot just go ask Kelly Starrett a question and pick his brain about something the way I can with Jeff.
It’s a lifesaver! As a fitness coach and due to the physical demands of teaching 3 hours a day of Group Exercise, it came to a point were tightness, soreness and dysfunction were starting to be a “normal” thing. Thanks to your technique I’m seeing improvements on myself and my members never experienced before with other techniques! Way to go Jeff Alexander.
Of course Jeff. Understanding our body we can identify where the pain is comming from and we can do something about it. I will be happy that other people that have similar problems like mine will benefit. Thank you. — Sandra R
I read your post about the psoas muscle, where it is located and the main function… Looking at your picture of the psoas and also the illiacus and the their function during movements, finally it is clear to me that my problem and pain and inability to move well when I lift my leg etc and tightness is because of this muscle that it is connected to the spine. Thank you, thank you! This brings me hope that I need to work on this particular muscle the psoas, along with the hip muscles and all the muscles I read on your page that involve the lower spine, hips, etc.
You know… I use my rumble roller from your SMR class 2 years later almost every day. You have no idea how great it is after a crossfit workout or simply increasing blood circulation and releasing muscle tension after a run.
The chiropractor’s massage therapist wanted to show me a stretch. He asked if I have access to yoga balls and I said no. He asks, “but you go to a gym right?” I say, “yea, with a weightlifting focus.” He says, “but what about using the ball for bench pressing?” “we have med balls.”
(The stretches he showed me are ones Jeff Alexander taught me years ago :))
SMR is really awesome!! My lower back doesn’t bother me often, but during my workout tonight the russian kettlebell swings and hang power cleans had my lower back really tightening up toward the end. When I finished I immediately grabbed my large black Rumble Roller and used it to work and loosen my lower back. It felt soooo good! I finished up with supported corpse pose. I’m tired from my workout, but my lower back isn’t uncomfortable now at all. The techniques that Jeff Alexander teaches in his seminars and DVD really work!! Use them regularly and you will notice what a difference they make in your life.
I missed work today with a migraine. I know it’s because I’ve neglected proper stretching. I just spent about 30 minutes with my black Rumble Roller and feel SO much better!! Thank you for making an awesome product with the DVD!
Jeff, Looks like you are continuing to do great things out there in CA. I’m using the stuff I learned from you last summer along with KStarr’s stuff almost everyday in my CrossFit group classes. Thanks for everything you do for the community. Michael Schaal, Director of Training, CrossFit Chikara (Tokyo, Japan)