What is body tempering and how is it beneficial for the body?
Powerlifter “Donnie Thompson” invented body tempering (BT), which has become very popular in the fitness world recently. What is body tempering? Is it effective? Exactly how does it work? Let’s discuss.
Body tempering is a method of mobilizing soft tissues by rolling weighted cylinders over muscles and joints. As if foam rolling on steroids! As many fitness and rehab professionals are bashing foam rolling these days, many will argue that it’s worthless and a waste of time. Research does support the use of foam rolling, and it can help temporarily improve mobility.
Foam rolling does not create long-term changes, so many argue that we should abandon it because of the temporary gains. Its temporary effects, however, can make foam rolling a valuable tool as part of a larger mobility plan.
Is it effective?
Yes, absolutely! With body tempering, you get the same improvement in mobility as with foam rolling and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. After a year of using this in the clinic and on myself, I would say this is my favorite method for performing soft tissue mobilizations, and my patients love it too. In the opinion of people who have tried body tempering, foam rolling can’t even come close to the feel of body tempering. Body tempering can be more intense than foam rolling without being painful if performed properly.
What can we do to achieve more intensity without pain?
We can get an area loaded so that the athlete feels significant pressure without being painful by using different loads with body tempering depending on the part of the body we are working on. Next, take 1-2 minutes to tense that muscle/joint/area.
Since most body tempering devices are heavy (from 22 to 200 lbs. ), it may seem painful, but the cylinders have a large surface area that distributes pressure evenly. Compared to other manual therapists, when I see them pressing into a muscle with their hands, I see much less weight behind it. Nevertheless, the smaller surface area can be uncomfortable at times.
In the pec minor, hands-on work can be a bit painful, but when we body temper for 30 seconds, patients report no pain, but they do notice their pec minor relax, and their shoulder falls back.
Using body tempering, what can be improved?
Tempering helps to prepare the soft tissues for activity, as well as to improve muscle recovery with longer-lasting effects than other soft tissue methods, manual massage, or static stretching. Over time, the body becomes much stronger.
Try out body tempering with your Wichita physical therapist to increase mobility, strength, and performance. It can also improve:
- Hamstring flexibility
- Ankle mobility
- Protects against trauma
- Helps to prevent hernias, muscle tears, tweaks, ruptures
If you’ve read this far, you may want to know more about body roll tempering. Visit our physical therapy clinic to learn more about the technique and how it can specifically benefit your body.