Spring is a great time to kick up your workout routine. However, revving it up can leave you feeling more sore than you normally would, so here are some remedies to help revive your tired muscles.
Tennis Ball, Anyone?
Tennis balls are my go-to sore remedy. If you have a denser ball, like a free stress ball from a medical provider, those can definitely work, too.
If your legs are sore, sit on the floor with one leg stretched out in front of you. The other leg can be in whatever position is most comfortable for you. Take your tennis or stress ball and put it under your leg where the muscle is sore. Use your hands to support your weight and roll your leg along the ball. Make sure to breathe while you roll your leg out. When you feel the muscle start to release, roll out the other leg. Make sure to do both sides.
Balls are also great to open up your shoulders, neck and back—just make sure not to roll them directly along the spine. If you need to work out the length of your back, make sure to do both sides of the spine.
You can also find various-sized balls with different densities to work out different parts of the body. Smaller, harder balls work really nicely on the shoulders, especially if that’s the place where you know you carry your stress.
Fun with Foam
Foam rollers are out of this world. Even if you do not feel sore, I highly recommend using a foam roller on the outside of your thighs. Lie on your side and put your top leg on the roller and the other leg straight out on the floor in front of the roller. Use your hands for support. Roll your leg gently over the roller. Do not roll directly on your knee. I feel the most benefit on my outer thighs from rollers, and I like balls for my calves, but everyone has different preferences, so check out both and see what works for you.
Massage is another great way to get rid of soreness. Taking some time and treating yourself to a little massage is great. If that’s not an option, you can definitely rub out your own neck. Experiment with weight. Take your head in your hands and truly feel the weight of your head. Be gentle and thoughtful with your hands.
A bath is another great way to relieve tight muscles. Run a warm bath and dissolve Epsom salts in the water. Epsom salt will help to break up the lactic acid buildup that is contributing to your soreness.
After you get out of your bath, make sure to bundle up more than you normally would, especially in the warmer months. Your muscles will be relaxed, so to ward off additional soreness, throw on some sweats.
Stretch and Repeat
No matter what works best for you, make sure to at least get in some stretching the next day, if not a light workout. A workout is a great way to really get into your muscles and release a lot of that soreness. Make sure to follow up your follow-up workout with some of the aforementioned methods.
About the Author
After dancing since the age of 3, Haley Greenwald-Gonella thought it was time to try a new art. In elementary school, she began playing the flute and was in the marching band in middle school and for the first two years of high school. She also played the bassoon during concert season. Dance drew Haley back while in high school.
She graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with degrees in dance and English. She recently graduated from the University of Southern California with a master’s degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts).
Haley is also a certified registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She draws upon her dance and yoga training when it comes to all things fitness and the arts.