Foam rollers have been quite the craze for a while now. You see them in just about every store that carries some sort of workout equipment. But there are a lot of people who can’t handle that kind of pressure, and others who simply don’t like to use them. Fortunately, there are several other ways you can ease your sore muscles that don’t require a foam roller. Here are a few you can keep in mind the next time your workout’s gotten the best of you and you don’t have a foam roller.
Try a tennis ball
Tennis balls are good for more than just playing tennis. You can use a tennis ball in a similar way that you would use a foam roller; it’s just smaller and more pin-point of pressure. You place the tennis ball in the area your muscles need the most TLC, and rest your weight on it; as little or as much weight as you want. This can be done on the floor or in a chair. Use your body to roll the tennis ball around in the areas you’d like to target. As you work through those areas, you’ll feel the tension start to melt away and that soreness begins to ease.
Hit the sauna after your workout
I get it, the last thing you likely think about after an intense, sweaty workout is placing yourself in an extremely warm room to sweat even more. However, you may want to rethink that. The truth is, the heat from the sauna stimulates blood flow bringing more oxygen to those tired muscles and triggering them to regenerate quicker. Don’t overdo it though. Around 15 minutes is plenty and be sure to drink even more water than you normally would after a workout.
Try a contrast shower
By rotating between very hot water and very cold water, you’re essentially creating an external pump. When you cool the muscles off, the blood goes away from the muscles, and when that hot water hits, the blood comes back. When doing this, turn the cold water as cold as you can handle it and the hot as warm as you can handle it (of course you’ll want to avoid anything that can burn your skin). Each extreme should be held for 20-30 seconds at a time and repeated for 10 rounds before you continue on with your normal shower routine.
Book a sports massage + cupping session
Massage therapy and many other types of bodywork can do wonders for sore muscles. Cupping, a type of bodywork using glass, plastic, or silicone cups to create negative pressure on the skin and underlying tissues, can be a great way to ease that soreness without the digging and pressure most commonly associated with using a foam roller and other sore muscle fixes. The suction created in the cup actually pulls the muscle fibers and connective tissue up, allowing them to slowly release any built-up tension without any pain or discomfort.
While I get a lot of relief from my foam roller, they aren’t for everyone. The truth is, it’s far from the only solution to easing sore muscles. So, which will you be trying next?