Posted on: 28 October 2016
A 'Tab' (Tactical Advance into Battle) is a style of military training that requires men and women of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to both walk and run whilst carrying a weighted rucksack, and often a rifle. This type of training, whilst fantastic for strength and cardiovascular fitness, can really take a toll on the body because of the demanding off-balanced loads that are carried over difficult terrain. Because of this, it's not uncommon for muscle imbalances to form, particularly in the lumbar region of the back and legs resulting in muscles that become tense and sore.
As part of your recovery after a 'Tab', there are a number of things you can do to relieve tension and loosen tight knots causing pain and discomfort. If you have access to a physiotherapist then you should opt for remedial massage. This is a type of massage that manipulates deep muscle tissues with quick hard strokes that increases blood flow to the muscle to encourage the flow of oxygen and nutrients and breaks down tension and underlying scar tissue to aid recovery. Most military establishments should have an on-site physiotherapist who will be able to offer this type of treatment.
If you don't have the time or access to a physiotherapist or perhaps you want something that's similar to a remedial massage that you can do at home, then you're in luck. Myofascial release, more commonly known as foam rolling, replicates a deep massage without the need for a second party and is both quick, convenient and space saving. A foam roller is a cylindrical tube that is usually about as wide as the average torso, made of foam that is either completely smooth or covered in small 'teeth'. The density of the foam can differ between models allowing for harder and softer massages, whilst the variety of textured surfaces provide differing levels of concentrated massage.
Most gyms nowadays will have a foam roller or two that you can use and they are great piece of kit. For military training where the legs are under constant strain they are great for reducing the risk of tight hamstrings which can lead to lower back pain, and for loosening the IT band which runs down the outside of the leg over the side of the knee. This is well-known for becoming tight with too much running on uneven surfaces, and as such can cause acute knee pain and patella pain.Share