Sports Massage feels absolutely fantastic and is a great way to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness and reduce running injuries. But lets be honest, no matter how much you enjoy a proper massage treatment at Spa Experience, you can’t book yourself in here every day you use the gym or go for a run (I’m sure you’d like to though!).
So how can you look after your muscles post-exercise if you don’t have a professional massage therapist on hand? With a foam roller! They can be picked up from any sports shop for about £20, or you could simply make one by wrapping foam around a metal or plastic cylinder. As a runner, I get sore calves after running and no amount of rubbing seems to alleviate the pain. That’s why I was delighted by the quick results I got from a foam roller. The only problem was, I found it difficult to learn how to use it properly and learn which exercises target which muscles.
If you’re having the same problems then look no further. The following animated image files (gifs) are really helpful and show you foam Roller exercises that can alleviate muscle tension after exercise.
- Upper Back (avoid lower back and neck)
- Neck (be gentle!)
- Shins (lateral side to get anterior tibialis)
- Quads / Hip Flexors (bent legs and/or straight legs)
- IT Band / VLO / Hip
The same fellow also made a very helpful video about foam roller exercises.
If you are doing an IT band exercise, then watch this video to make sure you don’t hurt yourself by rolling the wrong way.