To get the most out of your muscles, give them a little TLC! Studies have shown that people who get regular massages are healthier. They enjoy improved circulation, healthy agile muscles, and less mental tension (which is often caused by physical tension, and vice versa).
Relaxed muscles also make it easier to sleep, especially if you’re prone to muscle cramping or “charley horses” in the night.
The most important reason to massage your muscles? It prevents injury and allows you to get the most out of your fitness program.
So the benefits of massage are clear… but how many of us can afford a massage therapist every day?
The Myofascial Release Roller
Self-myofascial (or muscle) release has become a popular way to improve muscle quality. It’s convenient and inexpensive, requiring only a myofascial foam roller—a 6” thick and 36” long foam cylinder—to do it. It’s no wonder foam rollers have become a staple in public gyms, home gyms, personal training studios and athletic sites.
The foam roller is one of the core components of IdealShape’s fitness program. In truth, you only need a few pieces of equipment to create a powerful body sculpting workout, and the foam roller is one of them.
For proper foam rolling techniques, watch this demonstration.
When to Roll?
While you’re working out, your muscles may seem easy to ignore. But if you don’t treat them right, they’ll protest later!
In fact, your muscles may become so contracted during a rigorous workout that you feel sharp pain, or feel like you’re on the verge of pulling a muscle. If this happens, don’t push your muscles further; stop and immediately release muscle tightness with a foam roller.
Better yet, prevent tightness and injury by spending five minutes rolling out your muscles before every workout. Foam roll before you stretch for deeper release and an increased range of motion.
After your workout, massage the tight muscles again. This will release tension, prevent post-workout soreness, and accelerate recovery.
Foam rolling is critical for strength training workouts, yet it’s just as important for cardio and interval training. Many people will foam roll even on days when they don’t work out, because it improves the muscle tension that builds up from sitting at a desk all day. “Ironing out” the muscles daily improves posture and circulation, and may even improve cellulite, which is caused by uneven fat distribution under the skin.
The Myofascial Release Roller is available from IdealShape for just $29.99 — a small price to pay for flexible, relaxed muscles every single day! Click here to put a foam roller in your home gym.