You’ve heard about the importance of stretching when working out, but is it enough? Stretching is good, but try some of these self-massage techniques before and especially after your workout to rid your muscles of any knots and tightness. Stroking and circular movements stimulate blood flow and flush excess waste from the muscles.
- Hamstrings - Sit on the floor, bending one knee, and use both hands with fingers pointing toward each other. Rub in small circles from top of hamstring moving down. Repeat on other leg.
- Quads - Sit in a chair and place your forearm at the crease of your thigh and hip. Lean forward, press into leg, and slowly glide forearm into muscle, working toward the knee.
- Calves - Place one foot on a chair. Glide the heel of one hand up the muscle. Next, glide both fists up from ankle to knee. After a few passes, squeeze the calf with your thumbs, and then make small circles. Repeat on the opposite leg.
- Soles of Feet - Place a small bounce ball under one heel. Stand and sink your body weight onto the ball. Slowly roll the ball from the heel to the base of the toes, spreading toes wide when the ball passes near. Repeat on the opposite foot.