If you’ve been exercising for a while now on your own or using the Ideal Shape Up Challenge, you have probably felt some degree of muscle soreness due to your workouts.
This is because your muscles are not used to the extra amount of stress being placed on them as we have discussed in recent articles.
Today we are going to place a little more focus on one technique that can help you overcome this soreness and get you back on track toward your goals.
First we will go into a little more detail of the cause of post-workout soreness and then we will get into the topic of myofascial release and foam rolling benefits.
Post Workout Soreness
Basically there are two reasons your muscles feel sore after a workout. The first is caused by lactic acid buildup due to reduction of blood flow during your workout. This soreness can last up to around an hour after you finish exercising.
The second source of muscle soreness post-workout is due to microtrauma that your muscles are experiencing. This microtrauma occurs because your muscles are being placed under stress and your muscle fibers actually get tiny tears in them. This soreness can last between 12 and 48 hours after training.
Myofascial release, as the name implies is a soft tissue therapy technique for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain. You may have heard of its use in reducing back pain.
There are a number of ways myofascial release can be done and a variety of tools that can be used, but for now we are going to be focusing on one technique called foam rolling.
For those of you who don’t know, a foam roller is an actual cylinder of foam that is also used for different types of exercise as well. Refer to the picture above to see what a foam roller is.
While getting rid of soreness completely is almost impossible, using a foam roller to roll out your muscles after a workout can greatly reduce the amount of soreness you experience.
Initially, rolling out may cause further discomfort, but it’ll start to feel better soon. The more diligent you are rolling out your muscles after you exercise, the easier it gets and the better you’ll feel.
Foam rolling increases the blood flow to target muscle tissue, thereby speeding up nutrient delivery to these areas. This is important because as we mentioned last week, nutrient delivery is also an important part of the recovery process.
Additional benefits of foam rolling include restoration of muscle tissue to their normal length and improved mobility. Both of these are also important to complete muscle recovery by reducing the possibility of tight tissue in the future.
One way to go about foam rolling after your workout is by targeting the muscle areas that you trained during your workout. For example, if your workout was highly demanding on your quads, you would be sure to roll out your quads after your workout. This can be done shortly after your workout or whenever you feel the need to target a muscle area.
Foam rolling should be executed by starting at one end of your muscle and following a rolling scheme of up 2 down 1. That is, roll the roller up two inches and back down one inch until you reach the other end of the muscle tissue. You can also spend extra time on areas that are more sore than others.
If you haven’t incorporated foam rolling into your routine as part of your post workout recovery, start now. We promise your body will thank you for it. You will reduce soreness, feel better and most important of all, stay on top of your weight loss goals.
Get started today and reap the foam rolling benefits!
By Wes Young