We’ve all experienced muscle tightness and know what a pain it can be especially in the neck or hamstring area.
Muscle pain and tightness can result from overuse or repetition, joint stress, or muscle strain. If you’re bodybuilding and weight training, you’re sure to experience muscle tightness at some point in your program. But it’s what you do about the tightness that really counts!
This article looks at the best ways to deal with muscle pain and tightness. It’s time to start taking things seriously, think about muscle recovery, and get the most out of your workouts!
Muscle Tightness Solutions
1. Get Flexible! – Flexibility training is one of the best ways of preventing and managing muscle pain and tightness. You’ve probably heard that you should stretch before and after your workouts. If you’re weight training, it’s actually only recommended that you stretch afterwards. Studies show that this is the most effective time to stretch.
I have all of my clients stretch for at least 10 minutes after each workout. This helps relieve tension in your muscles and directly impacts the likelihood of experiencing muscle tightness. In fact, you should feel an immediate release of any tightness built up during your workout. Yoga is a great way to condition your body on a regular basis, improve flexibility, and prevent muscle soreness.
2. But First, Warm Up! – So you know what to do AFTER your workouts, but what about before? Whether you’re doing cardio, weight training, or some combination, warming up is an essential step in preventing muscle pain and injury.
The purpose of warming up is to get your blood circulating to your muscles. This will help to relieve the “shock” factor on your muscles so that they respond better to your workout. You’ll also reduce the potential for muscle soreness and tightness. A good warm-up on any cardio machine will do, and 5-10 minutes at very moderate intensity is sufficient. When it comes to weight training, a warm-up set of lower weight at higher reps can also be helpful.
3. Work Hard, Recover Harder! – Muscle recovery is key to preventing muscle tightness and soreness. Allowing your muscle to repair themselves and recover from workouts is an important step in any fitness program.
The first thing you can do to ensure adequate muscle recovery is to allow sufficient time between workouts. If you work out your legs on Monday, don’t do legs again until at least Thursday. A 48-hour recovery period for a highly focused workout regimen is a good rule of thumb.
4. Supplement Smarter! There’s a lot more you can do to improve muscle recovery with the right supplements. Here are my top picks for muscle recovery supplements. These will help you improve muscle repair, prevent injury and strain, and overcome muscle tightness!
- Whey Protein – This is great an hour before your workout and immediately after your workout. (Try: Optimum Platinum Hydrowhey or Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion)
- BCAA’s – This essential amino acid complex is a must after every workout. (Try: Scivation Xtend)
- Casein Protein – This protein is great to have before bedtime, and will also help you build lean muscle mass. (Try: Optimum 100% Natural Casein)
- Glutamine – This amino acid can be taken anytime during the day, when feeling muscle soreness or following a good workout. (Try: Optimum Glutamine)
5. Treat Yourself Better! I see a lot of men and women who somehow get so wrapped up with work, family and just life that they stop taking care of themselves and after a while this really takes a toll. It’s time to smarten up and treat yourself every once in a while.
Plan for a massage therapy session once a month and stick to it like a doctor’s appointment. Massage has shown to reduce stress, increase all the good-feeling hormones and help with recovery of your muscles. The end result is that you not only feel better but you look better too!
Have any questions or feedback about muscle tightness? Please leave a comment below…