Lets talk about muscle tightness.
What causes your muscles to have that tight feeling?
Some of the reasons why your muscles get tight are due to:
- repeating movements or being in a certain position for extended periods of times (i.e. driving, typing, sitting all day)
- an old injury
What Can I Do About It?
If you are not familiar with a foam roller, I would definitely invest in one especially if you exercise regularly.
You can get a traditional foam roller at your local sporting goods store, which I would recommend for beginners or those who have a low pain tolerance. If you have a higher pain tolerance I recommend going to your nearest Home Depot or Lowe’s and getting a small pre-cut 2′ PVC pipe that has an approximate 5″ diameter.
Once you have one you would basically roll your muscles out, similar to giving yourself a massage.
I recommend starting out with at least 2 minutes of foam rolling for each body part that you choose to roll with more emphasis on the tighter areas.
If you are an exerciser, I recommend foam rolling, going through a dynamic warm-up, and then beginning your workout. You can even roll out after your workout or any other time throughout the day.
Here are some video’s for you on how to roll different body parts:
- Quads/Thighs (can help with knee tightness/pain)
- Piriformis (can help with lower back tightness)
- Lats (can help with shoulder tightness)
- IT-Band (can help with knee tightness/pain)
- Calves (can help with ankle tightness/pain)
- Adductors (can help with knee tightness/pain)
You can also use a softball to get into smaller areas that are difficult to get with the foam roller.
After you’re done foam rolling I recommend stretching that body part out as well. It’s important that you combine foam rolling/massage with stretching.
Foam rolling is such an important recovery/safety tool that can help reduce your risk of injury while working out or even while you’re doing ordinary things around the house.
There are other things that may lead to muscle tightness…
Are you sleeping well? Are you sleeping enough?You recover when you are sleeping so if you are not getting a good nights rest, this may make it more difficult to overcome tight muscles.
Are you stressed with work, responsibilities, and life? Finding ways to cope with this stress is crucial because stress hormones may be preventing you from recovering as quick as you could be.
- Eating Processed Foods
You know the saying, “You are what you eat”. Well if you consume a lot of processed foods that cause inflammation in the body and isn’t exactly what your body needs to perform and function at it’s best then you will most likely feel it in your body.
All of these things come into play when it comes to reducing muscle tightness.
Where are you lacking?
What can you start doing today to help you eat, move, and live better?
Till next time,
~Coach Garret Rumbea