Remember those workouts when you have super, awesome amounts of energy and put in 100% effort and feel great about yourself? Well, at the time you are thinking this is great but then the next day when the doms kick in you aren't feeling so great right? You know what I mean, the times when you can't walk properly and find it hard to get out of bed, it's a great feeling to be sore but it's also a pain in the butt, literally!! Well you can now say goodbye to days upon days of walking funny by mastering self massage and getting ahead....
Unfortunately I'm not about to tell you a new discovery of how you can rub your own back but how you can infact use different pieces of apparatus to relieve your body of knots and tight muscle pains. Why would you want to do this? Well, using these types of methods will speed up your recovery and reduce the amount of time you're spent in pain from previous workouts. So, basically learning to self massage and perform this for short periods each day is going to get you back in the gym quicker and keep you from feeling tired and sore.
What Does It Do?
Well, self massage is all about pushing more blood and oxygen into certain areas of your body and when you do this it boosts nutrients to this area. Therefore, eating a high protein diet and supplementing with glutamine, bcaas etc will help the muscles repair a lot quicker. The self massage acts as a further boost by telling the body exactly which areas you want the attention to be focused on.
What Can You Use?
I recommend using a foam roller to roll out any knots or tight areas you might have in your back, chest and legs. Simply rolling on the area and staying in a particular tight area is going to help relieve your muscles and ease them back to life. Here are some examples to follow for certain areas on your body...
Quads - Lay on your stomach and roll from hip to knee. Work the sides of your quads too and for increase pressure bend at the knee to target the muscles further.
Hamstrings - Sit on the floor and put the roller under one leg which is kept straight. Bend your other leg and roll up and down your hamstring, again focusing on tight areas which might need a little bit more tlc.
Calves - Sit on the floor and place the roller under your calves. Gradually roll up and down and put pressure on points which need it and are tender.
Back - Place the roller in the pit of your lower back and whilst leaning on it roll it up your back to iron out any knots and tight areas here. Again, pay close attention to any areas which require you to maintain pressure to remove any knots.
When you exercise your muscles break down and micro tears/fibres break off and form together when they aren't flushed through your lymphatic system properly. When they form together they then make it harder for your body to break them down. So using the roller is a great tool to alleviate aching muscles and promote muscle growth. It also means that when you next come to workout, you will be able to use more muscle fibres to help you lift a heavier weight or last for longer during sets.