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The Ultimate Six. Simplified to U6. When the people at Trigger Point Performance Therapy discuss using their tools to balance out and open up your body, from top to bottom, these are the essential places to self-massage, as unlocking them frees the muscles to work hard and in harmony with the rest of the body. They are the pectorals, piriformis, psoas, quadriceps, IT band, and soleus. The Ultimate Six Kit is therefore designed to hit all these areas.
The kit comes with Footballer and Foam Block, Massage Ball, Quadballer, Ultimate Six Guidebook and Ultimate Six DVD. It is similar to the Starter Set, but with the addition of the Quadballer and instructional media.
Bike racers often talk about doing "openers," efforts that open up the body to prepare it for the intensity of racing. The U6 Kit provides a similar function; only it opens up the body so that you're ready for exercise. Post-exercise, it works to loosen tight muscles so they can feel normal again, and it puts your body on a faster road to recovery.
Massage, stretching, and yoga have been getting increased attention lately from cyclists interested in performance. The reason is simple; there's more and more evidence that these off-bike modalities translate into improved cycling performance.
Self-massage has been around as long as there have been cyclists. The problem is, most find it hard to do. It's hard to get right, and it takes a certain amount of strength to accomplish. TPPT takes away these obstacles, as their products take advantage of your body weight and gravity to do the hard work. You'll put your body against products that are at once soft and hard, soft on the outside and hard on the inside -- just how a thumb or a hand feels when you press it against your leg.
TPPT sees their products as both "Pre-Gen" and "Re-Gen" activities. Pre-Gen means doing a massage routine for five to seven minutes before exercising. These pre-exercise efforts are releasing, lengthening, and strengthening muscles, preparing them to perform without limit. After the workout, doing a routine again an hour after you finish, and possibly again 1.5 hours before bed is considered "Re-Gen," for restoring, relaxing, and rebuilding, and improving recovery.
The Trigger Point Performance Therapy Ultimate Six Kit comes with a DVD and Guidebook. The book is a study of human biomechanics in running and how massage works in the U6 regions to benefit recovery and performance. The DVD is an adjunct to the book. You get to see the exercises that have been detailed on the printed page performed for you. You also get to sit in on a Re-Gen class: sit back as an observer or clear a spot on the floor and participate. Many find the videos excellent motivation tools.