Tip #5 – Foam rollers are the best inventions for sore legs
Weight training, running or intense cardio classes that involve multiple repetitions of squats, lunges, or dead lifts, like the ones done in Boot Camp, can cause extremely sore and tight muscles. The pain can be so overbearing at times that regular daily activities or even walking can become painful. You will most likely feel the pain in the backs of the legs, glutes, hamstrings, gastrocnemius (back part of the lower leg where the calves are) and the lower back, where the tail bone is located.
Myofascial trigger points is the technical term for these awful little knots, which are actually just like the ones we get in the middle of our backs and shoulders, usually caused by stress. Another way people might describe them are as tender inflamed areas. Although ibuprofen might help ease the pain for a few hours, it will not make the knots go away and after a while, if not treated, can eventually cause more severe injury.
Knots are formed when the the fibrous tissue that surrounds and separates the muscle tissue does not relax thus forming bundles or out of place muscle fibers. By stretching or applying direct pressure to the area, this will help straighten the fibers thus releasing some of the pressure and pain. This is where the foam rollers save the day when stretching just won’t cut it. Foam rollers also allow you to get those knots deep down inside that sometimes a simple massage can’t reach.
F.Y.I. Not all knots are felt until you actually apply pressure.
These neat little foam creations are amazing and allow a person to apply the pressure in a “more” soothing manner when a physical therapist is not on hand. I personally always use them before I begin my work out, after stretching but before cardio then again at the end of my session. Especially on the days after a tough lower body workout or long run. All you need to do is sit on the ground, roll the foam roller up and down your leg, applying pressure with your own weight about 10 times on each leg, making sure to stop on specific sore areas for 20-30 seconds, then releasing.
Side note: The concept is similar to the ball massagers used on backs.
Important: If you would like to see exactly how the foam rollers work and some great exercises you can try, just click on the following link —> Foam Rolling Exercises
* I will try to get a video up soon with a few more exercises.
The weekend is almost here so hang in there and keep on working hard.
~ KMP 🙂