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It’s indisputable that massaging sore muscles can help to relieve pain, swelling and stiffness. But still, if you aren’t well versed in this practice, it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. The fact of the matter is, there’s far more to massage than you may think. With that said, learning the proper techniques, tips and tricks isn’t too hard if you have the right guidelines and advice. If you’re experiencing muscle soreness after or before your next workout, take a look at these few tips before engaging in personal massage.
Massage is intended to relieve muscle soreness while also improving flexibility and strength, but many people don’t realize that it often isn’t enough on its own. In order to promote a truly desirable state of overall muscle health, you’ll need to supplement massage with other tactics, such as stretching. According to Skinny Ms., the majority of people who incorporate stretching into their exercise and massage routine only use stretching prior to physical activity. In order to achieve best results, though, stretching should be practiced both before and after an exercise routine. In order to make this work alongside your massage routine, stretch out all of the muscle groups activated by your workout shortly after finishing. Following this, identify areas that need massage by those that still have a lingering soreness.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of relieving muscle soreness is properly utilizing heat and cold treatments. Applying warm or cold compresses to muscle areas experiencing soreness can help to reduce swelling while also promoting muscle relaxation and numbing pain. If you find that massage isn’t quite enough to reduce the soreness that you’re feeling after a workout or mild injury, you may want to try pairing that activity with things like ice baths or heat wraps, when available. It’s worth noting that care should be taken when massaging muscles that have recently been soothed with ice. Cold treatments can cause numbness in the flesh surrounding muscles, which may make it so that you don’t feel the pain of massaging muscles too ardently, which can lead to further soreness or injury.
While massage is a great tool to ease soreness and stiffness or pain in overworked muscle groups, this practice can be made far more effective through it being paired with the appropriate supplements. Massage increases blood flow to muscle groups, which is one of the ways that muscle healing can be stimulated. In order to increase blood flow to muscles, Women’s Health recommends utilizing Omega-3 supplements periodically. In fact, taking one of these pills only once a day can help to ease soreness and inflammation in your muscle groups for up to 48 hours. Ensure that you talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen to determine the best course of action for yourself.
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Endurance athletes who take part in marathons, triathlons or century bike rides typically have fitness goals of strength and stamina. Your body needs to be strong enough to carry you long distances, and it needs to have the proper training in order to function for extended periods of time.
Before a race it’s crucial to plan a training program to prepare, and most of this will include running or cycling through intervals of faster and slower speeds, up and down hills and longer and shorter distances. It should also include cross training with strength exercises and core workouts such as Pilates for total body training.
Another factor that should be included in a pre-race program is athletic recovery and stretching. Whether you’re a new or seasoned endurance athlete, you’ll be putting your body through more intense challenges, which is sure to leave you with sore muscles from time to time, but it can also increase your risk of injury. To prevent getting hurt and having a setback, you need to take the proper precautions, which include stretching and massage.
A century bike ride will take you 100 miles, and it will certainly test your mental and physical prowess. This may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s certainly an achievable one that many endurance cyclists aspire to complete.
Being able to bike 100 miles requires serious commitment, dedication, planning and training. Once you decide to take part in a century ride, you need to starting working at least eight weeks beforehand to prepare your mind and body for the challenge ahead. Your training program should consist of long and short rides as well as intervals of different speeds, resistance levels, terrain and hills. It’s also a good idea to cross training with weight lifting to strengthen your muscles and exercises such as Pilates that provide stretching and improve posture.
Another key component is nutrition. Your body won’t be able to last long if it is not being fueled properly. Even slight dehydration can completely zap your energy levels and cause sore musclesand cramps. If this does happen, giving your muscles a massage can help. Additionally, eating the right amount of carbohydrates and fats is needed to fuel your muscles and provide you with the nutrients to keep you going mile after mile. You’ll certainly want to pack snacks to stop and eat during your ride to replenish fuel sources, curb hunger pangs and boost energy. Remember not to pack any foods that are too heavy or hard to transport. A muffin may sound delicious, but it can be messy to eat. Also, be sure not to try any new foods in case it affects your stomach negatively and you have to stop mid-race.
Here are some tasty, helpful snack options to pack for your century ride:
Whether you’re preparing for a cycling race, training for a triathlon or simply appreciate the exhilarating cardio workout you get from riding, your body (the lower half in particular) is certainly being challenged.
Most of your focus will be on the meat of your training – developing programs for each ride to incorporate different terrain, speeds, hills and other aspects of riding itself. But it’s also important to remember that your training doesn’t stop once your session ends. In fact, time spent after you hop off your bike is just as important as time spent on the saddle. Cooling down and taking part in athletic recovery reduces your risk of sore muscles and injuries, which can sideline you and set you back in your schedule. This is especially problematic if you are on a deadline for a race.
After each bike ride you should be taking the time to stretch out your muscles and allow your mind and body to return to their resting states. It’s also useful to incorporate self massage into your routine each week, especially after an intense ride. Massage will help loosen up muscles even further, which is important so you don’t create any imbalances.
There are several key muscles you should focus your massager on after a bike ride: