Raising your oxygen levels through a tough workout is a challenging but satisfying task that leaves you feeling like you accomplished something with your day.
The downside is that tight muscles can curb your training, lead to injury and prevent you from reaching your fitness goals.
There are many factors involved in restricted muscles, such as overtraining or sitting all day, but knowing how to overcome them can leave you in better shape than ever before.
Many athletes undergo a sports massage to revitalise their muscles as this promotes the breakdown of scar tissue, loosens ligaments and tendons and improves blood flow.
However, few people can take the time out for such a massage on a regular basis so a more cost-effective alternative can be a foam roller.
These, if you aren't already familiar with them, are the long cylindrical foam pieces that tend to be placed alongside the weights or exercise balls in gyms.
Just like a sports massage, they stretch and loosen muscles to increase your mobility, which is integral to anyone undergoing a serious exercise regime.
Areas targeted by foam rollers include the back, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, with runner's knee and shin splints common ailments they help to combat.
A great aspect of foam rollers is that they use your own body weight to alleviate restricted muscles.
If you have trouble with your knee because of tight quads, simply place the roller at the top of your thigh, lie across it and roll it down to just above the knee.
This should be done for around 30 seconds, with those beginning foam roller sessions best to keep them within a total of 15 minutes to target various muscle groups.
It is recommended that you don't roll over joints or bones, but take care to ensure enough pressure is being applied to make a difference.
To increase the pressure, where possible, lift one leg over the other.
You'll be back on form in no time!
Posted by Stewart Elliott
26/07/2012 13:34:45Subscribe to the News RSS feed