ANY form of exercise can leave us sore and tense the following day which can have an impact on our motivation to workout, particularly if you are in too much pain.
However, to help relieve muscle pain and make them relaxed and flexible then the best thing to do is to use a foam roller.
Foam is rolling is self-myofascial release and is used to release muscle tightness or trigger sore points (usually knots) in your muscles. It basically means that foam rolling is self massage to release muscle tension.
This type of technique was and still is used by trainers but this simple and cheap way of self-recovery means you don’t have to be availing of sports massages too often.
It can be painful in some parts of your body when you use it at the start, particularly if you use it on the side of your legs at the top.
However, if you remain relaxed and stay in control of the movements and breathe through the motions then you should be able to feel your muscles starting to relax.
There are lots of different ways to use a foam roller to help ease the sore points of your body. By applying pressure to the sore muscles you will feel a bit of discomfort, similar to that when you stretch your muscles before and after a work-out.
This method is useful because you can feel where the pain is and you will know where to apply the pressure and when the muscles starts to relax.
Think of it as ironing out the muscles which have tightened up. This will allow you to recover quickly and means you can move on to your next workout pain-free – almost.
If you hit a particularly sore point, hold the foam roller there for around 15 to 30 seconds and this will help loosen the muscle.
The best time to use a foam roller is post-exercising and try to get into a habit of using it soon after you are finished. Don’t wait until the next day when the pain is at its worst because it will feel a lot worse.
If you are at a loss as to how to use it, there are a lot of videos and tips online.
However, I have listed a few methods which you will find below but there are a lot more to target different muscles.
Start on all fours and place the foam roller under your knees while your hands are placed firmly on the floor. While crossing your feet, roll from your knees to the bottom of your legs and repeat.
Then roll along the side of the top of your leg by crossing one leg over the other while the other leg remain straightened out and roll from the top of the side of your leg to the knee.
You can also roll out the inner thigh muscles by straightening one leg out with the roller underneath and balancing on the other foot. Roll from top down to the knee.
You can purchase foam rollers around £10 to £20.