Your whole body is sore, you’ve got tight quads and calves, a stiff neck or joint pain after your workout? Yesterday’s bodyweight training or your running session must have been a bit too intense.
To avoid or ease sore muscles and tightness, proper stretching is absolutely essential. Relaxation and recovery are just as important as the training itself. The best way to help your body is with the right stretching and foam roller exercises.
Foam rolling — what is it exactly?
Fascia is the muscular connective tissue of the body: It holds everything together and acts as an elastic shock absorber. Fascia training with a foam roller or a Blackroll, therefore, plays an important role after your full body workout. Sometimes, intense bodyweight training or a tough running session causes the fascia to dehydrate. As a result, the fascia loses its elasticity and binds down, making the body more prone to injury.
Regular foam roller exercises…
…relax the deep tissue, loosening up and restoring flexibility to the muscles.
The best times to do foam roller exercises are shortly before your workout and right afterwards, although then it should be slower and longer. Focus on the following body parts:
Numerous squats and burpees can really take a toll on your quads. You can reduce muscle stiffness by slowly rolling your anterior, medial, and posterior thigh muscles after your workout.
2. Lower leg
Your shins and calves also get a pretty good workout when you go running or do bodyweight training. Therefore, don’t forget to foam roll them, too.
Full body training requires a strong back and core stability. One way to avoid back pain is to massage these muscles regularly with a fascia roller. But don’t overdo it – make sure to massage slowly and carefully. When it starts to hurt, that’s when you should stop.
Roll Yourself Fit
Everyone who does physical exercise knows that stretching helps prevent sore muscles — it allows your muscles to recover after an intense workout. All too frequently, however, this knowledge doesn’t make its way into practice. Our daily life is stressful, and there is seldom time for thorough stretching. Taking 5 or 10 minutes for foam roller exercises after the workout is easy to squeeze in and can be really helpful for recovery.
How-To Video: Foam Roller Exercises
This video will show you which foam roller exercises can help you loosen up tight spots and ease the pain of sore muscles.
Limit each exercise to 30 seconds and make sure to perform it in a controlled manner.