The human body starts losing elasticity in the connective tissues and joints with the aging process. This might be the reason for your pain while doing some simple everyday activities, like walking up the stairs.
According to a research, massages are able to relieve soreness and stiffness by over 40 percent. But, massages don’t come cheap, so we’ve found you a cheaper and more effective way to get rid of your pain. All you need is a foam roller.
According to a lot of physical therapists and trainers, this inexpensive roller is the solution to your body pain. Using this long tube breaks up fibrous tissue and improves circulation similar to an old-fashioned rubdown, thus reducing your soreness. The personal trainer and physical therapist based in Minnesota Michelle F. Schwahn has designed the following routine which relieves muscle pain and tension in not more than 10 minutes.
Bonus – When holding each position, you are contracting your muscles, thus strengthening those areas of your body. An extra reason to get rolling.
Routine at a Glance
Things you’ll need – A foam roller (6×18 inch, or 6X36 inches), and a carpeted space. You can find such foam rollers at sporting goods stores.
Frequency – To relieve soreness and stiffness, and tone muscles, do these moves at least three times per week.
Way to do them – Start every move by lying with a specific part of your body on the roller. Then, roll in both directions to determine your tender spot, and remain here until your muscle relax, or around five to ten seconds. Continue rolling down the length of the muscle to determine another sore spot, or knot. Do this three to five times.
Ease your job – For a less-intense pressure, do the moves on a bed.
Relieve Back Pain
Lie on your back with head towards the ceiling, and the foam roller placed horizontally below your shoulder blades (under your upper back), with bent knees, feet flat on the floor, and hands placed behind your head. Tighten your abdominal muscles and press into the feet, raising your hips slightly to roll from your upper to your middle back. Find where your sore spot is, and remain here for 5-10 seconds. Release, and repeat.
Then, bring the roller under your lower back with arms out to sides and bent knees. Contract your abdominal muscles and tilt slightly to right to target the muscles along the right side of the back. While tilted right, press into feet to roll from your middle back to the top of your hips. While rolling, stop wherever you feel a tender spot, and hold. Release, and then repeat. Do the same thing with the opposite side, now tilted slightly to left.
Additional tip – Lift your hips for a deeper back stretch.
Loosen Tight Calves and Hamstrings
Sit on the floor, and extend your right leg, making sure the foam cylinder is placed horizontally under your upper thigh. Bend your left knee, and place the left foot flat on the floor, while supporting on your hands behind your back. Slowly roll down from your bottom to your knee, holding at the place where you feel pain or soreness. Release, and repeat.
Bring the foam cylinder under your right calf, supporting on your hands behind your back. Slowly roll from below knee to your ankle, holding at any sore place. Release, and repeat. Do the same thing with the opposite leg.
Soothe Sore Knees and Release Tight Hips and Butt
Lie down on your right side, with foam roller under the right hip. Cross your left leg in front of the right and place the foot flat on the floor. Support your torso on the right forearm, with your left hand placed on your hip, and head in line with your spine.
Roll down the leg from below hip to above knee, pressing into left foot and pausing over any sore point. Hold, release and repeat. Do the same thing with the opposite side.
Release Pain in Thighs
Lie with your face downward, thighs over the foam roller and hands under your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and raise your upper body while controlling the movement with your core muscles, hips, and shoulders. Roll down the leg from hips to knees, stopping when you find a tender spot. Hold here, release, and repeat.