When it comes to working out and training for our chosen sports, we all have a good idea of what works best for us individually. However, most of us don’t place the same emphasis on recovery and this is an avoidable mistake. There are methods of helping your muscles recover that improve your next workout, relieve discomfort, and improve overall performance. There are two main methods two achieve this, stretching and massage. Read on to find out how to use these powerful techniques.
Stretching both before and after your workout has tremendous benefits. Stretching increases the length of your muscles, improving their overall function. You’re also less likely to suffer from painful cramps, spasms and other uncomfortable after-effects. Looser muscles also help you to keep better posture, which can assist in avoiding injury.
However, stretching only provides so much benefit to workout recovery and you may still have some discomfort the following day. This is where massage comes in.
You might consider a massage a luxury that you get as a rare treat at a spa, but it can also boost your recovery time and performance beyond what you can achieve from stretching alone. Here are a few of the benefits:
- Counteracts bad posture. If your muscles are aching, you might adopt positions that are not optimal. This can lead to musculoskeletal problems in the long term.
- Relieves pain. Massaging muscles pushes away the buildup of lactic acid that causes pain after exercise.
- Reduce future injury. By easing away the lactic acid and smoothing the muscle, you are less likely to incur muscle damage after your next workout.
- Boost muscle recovery. When the inflammation and lactic acid is pushed out of your muscles, you’ll can begin your next workout sooner.
You’re probably thinking that, while these benefits sound fantastic, you can’t afford the time or money to go for a professional massage after every workout session. That’s for pro sportspeople surely? However, there are DIY methods of massaging your muscles that you might not know about.
Foam rollers are an excellent way to get the professional massage feel without taking the time out to go to a spa. Foam rolling can reduce inflammation, ease discomfort and increase your flexibility. However, you should ensure that you are using them correctly. Contact Balance Fitness for the best advice on using your equipment properly.
Handheld massage guns, such as those made by the sports accessory company Power Plate, can help to improve blood flow, remove lactic acid build-up, and reach more parts of the body than foam rollers. They also:
- Enhance your range of motion
- Speed up your preparation and recovery times
- Rejuvenate tight muscles
Most massage guns come with multiple heads suited for various muscles and different speed settings. Again, you should take care to ensure you’re using them correctly. For more information on this and methods of improving your workouts, talk to Balance Fitness today.