Recovery is one of the most overlooked components of fitness. No matter your preferred workout, you’ll often deal with pain, both good and bad. The best methods to deal with both types will help relieve some short-term, healthy soreness while also making sure that your muscle pain doesn’t become a more serious injury.
“I don’t like static stretching at all,” said Dan Gronkowski, owner of The Fitness Store in Dublin. When not properly warmed up, static stretching can result in feeling like you are ripping your muscles rather than preparing them for use. “So I try to do a lot of other things, like massage rolling.”
Gronkowski’s also been in the NFL the past four years, so he knows a thing or two about getting your body to bounce back after a hard workout. Here are five tools to help reduce your risk of injury.
We can’t all afford regular trips to a masseuse, so foam rollers are a great way to perform self-message in order to achieve myofascial release, which reduces muscle inflammation. Places like The Fitness Store have trained professionals that can show you how to use the tools before you take them home.
Compression in the calf and foot region help to enhance circulation and oxygen flow in the muscles, which will aid recovery. Wearing them after training can decrease muscle soreness, and you can also put them on during activities, as many people say they increase performance and stimulate a fresher feeling in the legs.
Maybe it’s time you take the tennis balls off the court and sit on ‘em instead. Massage balls are intended to apply direct pressure to an existing ache or pain. The small size allows for use on the neck, shoulder, back – just about anywhere.
By incorporating these bands into stretches you are already doing, you can get a much deeper stretch, and they will also help to increase your flexibility.
Compression + Ice Pants
How many times have you finished a workout and thought, “Man, my (insert body part) hurts. I’m gonna ice that when I get home,” then you got home, occupied yourself with something else and forgot? That’s where these 110 Percent Compression + Ice clutch tights come into play. They combine the benefits of compression with places to insert reusable ice packs – on shins, calves, knees, quads. Bring them with you to the gym, and you can finish icing your aching muscles by the time you get home.
These items can be found at The Fitness Store, Fleet Feet, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other local running stores.