Stretching, rolling, and self-massage can improve strength and flexibility, prevent injuries such as the tearing of muscles, and improve circulation which can minimize pain from sore muscles. These activities can also reduce stress and tension, making it easier to rest and recover.
When performing a particular stretch, aim to hold that stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. The goal is to stretch just until you observe mild discomfort – this will ensure no damage is done to the muscle. A misconception is often held about when to stretch; you should actually only stretch after a warm-up exercise like a fast walk or jog, because stretching cold muscles actually puts them at risk for tearing. Stretching after your main exercise, as well, is really important for recovery and preventing damage. Also, stretching before bed can have great benefits in promoting good rest. While stretching, breathe at your regular rate, and focus on the muscle(s) you are working on. You should aim for a stretching session of 10 minutes daily in order to observe the benefits. This means you can work on several different areas of the body with several repetitions of those 10 to 30 seconds each stretches.
Rolling and Massage Stick
Rolling your muscles with a roller such as a massage stick has many benefits; this activity can aid in recovery after a workout, for example. Or, if you roll before cardio, this can reduce muscle fatigue and improve performance. Rolling right before bed releases muscle tension, making it easier to relax, just like stretching without a roller can. You can roll each area for about 20-30 seconds at a time to enjoy the most benefits without any other unwanted effects.
Areas that can be rolled with a massage stick include but may not be limited to:
- Hip flexors
It is best to avoid certain areas such as the neck and groin, as the pressure exerted will put certain tissues and nerves at risk.
Foam rollers are one other tool that can be used in muscle rolling; they are made in different densities such as soft, medium, or firm, and typically made from polypropylene. The more dense, the more intense the massage is; some of the choice will be left to preference, while other factors include what areas you most often need rolling.
Rollers and massage sticks often used to increase balance, flexibility, and range of motion, along with strength training and rehab. The best massage sticks are an even more versatile option than traditional foam rollers because they are portable and effective. The best option is a massage stick, which can also be used for trigger points, deep tissue massage, to combat sore muscles, break up muscular adhesions, and promote blood flow to aid in recovery. A massage stick is easy to use and store, and you can even have a partner use it to give you a soothing massage in those hard to reach places! Click here to check out the leading massage stick on the market.
Self-myofascial release is the application of pressure to relieve pain in specific areas. Like rolling, another muscle stretching technique is the use of massage balls. These massage balls can be used between your lower back and a wall, under the foot, or under the buttocks / hip, among other areas. Massage balls come in different sizes, weights, and shapes to target specific issues, muscles, and levels of soreness.
In order to use a massage ball, you should avoid putting too much pressure directly on joints or bones. It’s ok to cross bones if you are using the massage ball in a circular manner to target an area, but don’t go directly along a bone.
Massage balls can be used to relieve trigger points, involve acupressure points, help plantar fasciitis, or relieve the hamstrings, quads, pectoral, biceps, and triceps. The spiky massage balls are more for targeting specific points, while the lacrosse style massage balls are smooth and better for whole muscles. They can be used anywhere, and are extremely portable. Also, keep in mind that the smaller the ball, the more pressure will be exerted. Click here to check out the best massage balls - try them risk free today!