When you work out, it’s not the exercises, or the weights, or the effort that makes you stronger. In fact, what you’re doing when you’re strength training, or going on a long run, is breaking your muscles down. You’re causing micro tears in your muscle fibers. Sounds awful, right? Well, the good news is that it’s when you’re resting after your workout, your body is hard at work repairing your muscles…and when your body focuses on those torn muscle fibers, it actually builds them back up stronger. That means the next time you lift the same weights, or run the same distance, your muscles have grown stronger to adapt to the effort.
How to make recovery as beneficial as possible:
- Eat a snack with carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of the end of your workout
- Rehydrate! Keep drinking water after your workout is done
- Foam rolling, self-myofascial release* and stretching all assist with recovery
- Adequate rest – don’t skimp on sleep after your workout, sleep is the prime time when your body is repairing itself
What is *self-myofascial release? Simply put, it’s self massage, usually with tools such as foam rollers, balls, massage sticks etc, in order to manipulate the fascia – the ‘skin’ that surrounds your muscles – to break up any adhesions or tight spots.
The day after your workout:
- Light cardio and keeping yourself moving can help to alleviate DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Self-myofascial release
- And ideally, a sports massage from a massage therapist
Why is self-myofascial release and massage so important for athletes?
Massage and soft tissue manipulation like self-myofascial release increase circulation and oxygenated blood flow to your muscles – this allows nutrients in your blood to flow through your muscles easily, and helps reduce inflammation in your muscles.
Massage also helps your range of motion and flexibility, by breaking up tight spots and adhesions on your fascia. This is important not just for recovery, but for injury prevention. Any kind of limitation in your range of motion can lead to you (usually subconsciously ) making compensations in other areas of your body the next time you are working out.
Finally, massage and self massage can assist in relaxation, including better sleep (so important for muscle recovery) and feeling less sore after your workout. While sports massage or using self-myofascial tools might hurt like crazy while it’s happening, you will feel less sore the next day.
So, now you know you need massage and self-myofascial release in order to get stronger, stay injury-free and be less sore after your workout. That’s where this AWESOME giveaway I have comes in! Deep Recovery reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying their Massage Track kit, to see if it was beneficial for self-care after working out. I checked out their website (specifically their video guides on use of the kit) and immediately knew it would be a great tool for me.
Everyone holds their tension in different spots and for me, it is the jaw. That’s always what I find is clenched tight when I’m in a yoga class and asked to ‘check in’ with my body. I grind my teeth in my sleep when I’m stressed and often find myself massaging my jaw when I’m feeling tense. It’s not like a foam roller can really do anything for your jaw, right? Well, check out what the Massage Track can do:
If you’ve ever used tennis balls or lacrosse balls to try to roll out or massage areas, you know the real issue is trying to keep them from rolling around everywhere. The founder of Deep Recovery, Eric, came up with the Massage Track base to keep the balls from rolling around when using them of truly every part of your body.
Eric developed the Massage Track kit after suffering a back injury which severely limited his movement and well-being. While professional sports massage helped, he quickly found it too expensive to maintain on a regular basis, so he started experimenting with self-myofascial release to alleviate his pain. Once he had the prototype for the Massage Track made, he saw immediate improvements in his injury and pain levels, with daily use. This is a product created out of necessity, tested and refined by an everyday athlete just like me and you. It retails for $125, which is about the cost of a professional massage.
But – Deep Recovery has generously offered a Massage Track kit for one of you lucky readers! Scroll down to the end of the post and you can enter to win your own kit, using the Rafflecopter.
Now, check out all the ways you can use the Massage Track for recovery (p.s. you can also use it on your arms, chest and abs, not pictured). The kit comes with a neck track, a body track and 4 sets of 2 massage balls. Each set of balls is a different firmness, so you can switch it up depending on how much intensity you need for each area. The idea, just like foam rolling, is to find the ‘trigger point’ and hold your weight on the balls for at least 10 – 15 seconds to help break up the area.
You can use the body track for glutes and IT Band:
This is the neck track (also pictured above in the jaw photo), with softer balls for your more delicate neck area:
Using the body track is particularly great for the shins and calves, both areas often neglected (and apt to injury like shin splints) for runners. I swear, I could use this on my shins all day long, it feels amazing afterward:
Your shoulders and back can be targeted with the body Massage Track base – just make sure the balls are not directly touching your spine. The body track has 4 columns, so you can select the right width for you. Changing the position of your arms acts to intensify or shift the focus of the massage.
You can even use the kit for your feet – either using one ball, or using two balls on narrow tracks to get a massage on both sides of the sole of your foot.
Enter via Rafflecopter below – leave me a comment on this post for what area you most need to work on for recovery from your workout (for guaranteed entry), then you can get additional entries by following Deep Recovery on their social media channels (also listed below).
Good luck! Entries close 11:59pm Wednesday, March 8. The winning entry must have a US shipping address. Deep Recovery will ship the Massage Track kit (retail value of $125) directly to the winner.
You can connect with Deep Recovery here: