3 Massage Tips You Can Use At Home

Whether you are a serious athlete, circuit trainer, or just someone with a stressful job, massage is necessary to reduce stress and prevent injury. Although a professional massage is irreplaceable, there are some things you can do at home between massages. When done daily, these few tips will help maintain the gains achieved in the massage session, aka keep the muscles from getting tight again.

There will be a couple inexpensive items to purchase in order to perform these simple yet helpful activities.

Image originally found on exercisebest.us.

Image originally found on exercisebest.us.

1.  Foam Roller
You can find a foam roller at any sporting goods store. The foam roller can be used several different ways. Whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or just have an active job, there are several areas that should be “rolled out”. To understand the concept of rolling out, if you don’t already, the best way to describe it would be to compare it to a roller pin on bread dough. Just as you roll out the dough and make it flat, you roll out the muscle to make it smooth. Rolling out will help keep your muscles pliable between your professional massage sessions. The areas that are most benefited by the foam roller are the calves, hamstrings, quads, IT bands, and the lats. You can find videos on the proper technique on youtube.

2.  Lacrosse ball
The same concept applies to the lacrosse ball as the foam roller. This, however, will allow you to target the smaller, hard to get to muscles. These include the traps, rhomboids, pectorals, and the glutes. I also like to use it around my lower back and SI joint areas. This is especially beneficial for those people who are stressed, since most people carry their stress in the shoulders, and people who sit at a desk on a computer all day.

3. Stretching
The last thing I want to discuss does not require any special equipment. This technique is called stretching. Rolling out will definitely help release the muscles but to reach maximum effectiveness we need to also stretch the muscle. A muscle constantly under tension and shortened will lead to myofascial trigger points (knots). If we keep the muscle tissue stretched the likelihood of the muscle knotting up will be reduced.