Recurrent or niggling muscle tightness is common among healthy young individuals. Unfortunately, it can restrict lifestyle activities and participation and performance in exercise and sports. The good news is that there are evidence-based practices to reduce or alleviate muscle tightness. Our experts share their proven tips. Combined, these practices may significantly reduce symptoms within three weeks.
- Dynamic stretches
Dynamic stretches are stretches you do while a joint is moving through its full range of motion. An example of this is standing on one leg while swinging the other leg from full extension to full flexion. Dynamic stretches are great for improving flexibility and are most effective when done in the mornings.
2. Static stretches
Static stretches are stretches which require you to hold a muscle stretch in a position for a certain amount of time. An excellent example of this is when you sit on the floor, reach forward and hold onto your toes. These stretches are useful if held for more than 30 seconds and completed just before going to bed.
3. Regular massage
Elite athletes receive at least two 45-minute massages a week for a good reason. It loosens up the muscles fibres, reduces the formation of scar tissue during muscle repair and helps with lymphatic drainage. Recreational athletes should endeavour to get a remedial or myotherapy massage every fortnight.
4. Magnesium Supplements
Found in a variety of foods including legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, seeds, and nuts is magnesium. However, one in four Australians fails to meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium. There are many magnesium supplements to available, but there are only two we recommend. They have the highest level of magnesium absorption and retention in the body. They are BioCeuticals-UltraMuscleEze oral powder (kept in stock at Soaring Health) and Metagenics CalmX 270g oral powder.
5. Salt baths
Salt baths work because the warm water and the salt are absorbed directly by the muscles help reduce tightness. The two most commonly used salts are 100% pure Epsom salts and Radox Bath Soak. They’re inexpensive and with the right brands, very effective. Also remember they’re ineffective if the water isn’t warm enough and if you don’t put the recommended amount.
6. Self-massage tools
Self massage tools include spiky massage balls, foam rollers, massage sticks and trigger point triangles. Foam rollers are the most commonly used tools by athletes while massage balls are considered the most useful. Their use is easy and straightforward; use your body weight to press on a trigger point over the spiky massage ball. Trigger points release after 30 to 60 seconds when done correctly. This will help to alleviate the muscle tightness.
The best thing is that you don’t need to do all of these to get results; sometimes implementing just a couple could alleviate your reccurring or niggling muscle tension. Try it this month and leave us some feedback on how it went.