Stretching & Foam Rolling: How to Relieve Sore Muscles
Tight thigh and calf muscles, a stiff neck and joint pain after working out? Yesterday’s bodyweight training must have been a bit too intense because there they are again – sore muscles. To avoid or ease these, proper stretching is absolutely essential. Relaxation and recovery are just as important as the training itself. The best way to relax your body is with a combination of stretching and foam rolling. We have put together the most important information for you.
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 black roll, therefore, plays an important role after your full body workout. Sometimes, intense bodyweight training 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 rolling relaxes the deep musculature, loosening up and restoring flexibility to the muscles. The best times to do foam rolling are shortly before your workout and right afterwards, although slower and longer. Focus on the following body parts:
Numerous squats and burpees can really take a toil on your thighs. 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 do bodyweight training. Therefore, you should not forget to foam roll them, as well.
Full body training requires a strong back and core stability. One way to avoid back pain is to massage these muscles regularly with a black roll. But don’t overdo it – make sure to massage slowly and carefully. When it starts to hurt, that’s when you should stop.
Stretch your way to fitness!
Everyone who does physical exercise knows that stretching helps to prevent sore muscles and allows your muscles to recover after an intense bodyweight training session. 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. That’s why it’s enough if you take 5 or 10 minutes after the workout. Limit each exercise to 30 seconds and make sure to perform it in a controlled manner. This way you avoid stiff muscles and can get out of bed easier on the next day 😉
What body parts are particularly important?
The best thing about bodyweight training is that it works all the muscles in your body – that’s why it’s so effective and perfect for those with little time to spare. Since it trains your entire body, it is important to stretch all your body parts. Focus specifically on exercises for your thighs and calves, back, shoulders and neck – these are the most common places for stiffness and pain to arise.
In this video from Runtastic Fitness Coach Lunden, you can find the right foam rolling exercises for your total-body workout:
Do you regularly incorporate stretching into your training plan, or do you often skip it? And what techniques do you use to relax your body?