Oh, Those Aching muscles!
If you’re feeling a little bit stiff and sore after your first few days of working out again, don’t despair. It’s totally natural. If you haven’t exercised in a while, then the several dozen squats, kicks, push-ups, or gingas that you did over the past day or two certainly placed a demand on your body that it hasn’t been used to. That means your muscles got a pump like they haven’t had in quite a while, unless you’ve been doing similar movements in your prior exercises or your daily life. Even if you already work out with some regularity, a significant change in your routine can be enough to leave your body nice and achy. Don’t believe me? Just ask any athlete how he or she feels when the strength and conditioning coach throws a new program into the mix.
While some will tell you that the discomfort of soreness is nothing to concern yourself with, others might use those aching muscles as an excuse to skip a day or two or three, derailing a solid start to a successful workout program. While pain is nothing to trifle with, as it can clearly lead to or indicate injury, don’t use it as justification to bail out on training. I might have a solution for you that’s simple enough to use and seriously effective when properly used!
Enter the foam roller.
When I first saw the foam roller in different exercise routines in the gym, I admit it . . . I wasn’t exactly impressed. The trainers who I saw back then were focused on using the foam roller as an instability device, training their clients to position the roller across or along the spine to perform different crunch-like exercises. Now while I absolutely recognize the worth of some core engagement exercises that rely on instability training, some of what I saw looked like little more than very poorly taught stupid human tricks. Continued…