The 7th Challenge-Body Maintenance
Eliminating Liquid Calories Challenge from last week. Ok here is your challenge for this week. Take care of your muscles, joints, etc... Now is the time to learn of the healing powers of foam rollers. If you don't have one or access to one it's not a huge deal, but these things really can help. Many people describe it as the poor man's sports massage. You can use it before a workout, after a workout, or just on its own. The important thing is to do it. Just about any gym will have them laying around or you can buy one for yourself. I use the 3 foot rounded roller from Perform Better because it will last forever. 10 slow rolls on any of your muscles that feel tight or sore. Should only take 5-10 minutes. This video shows a few techniques you can use. Not the highest quality, but it works.
That's the first part. The second part is stretching. I want you to stretch for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night. A recent study found that people who stretched their hamstrings for 30 seconds before even getting out of bed increased hamstring flexibility by 27% in just 6 weeks. That's pretty cool.
So I want you to stretch your hamstrings, hips, quadriceps, upper back, arms, chest, calves, lower back, neck, and glutes every day. Spend 1 minute on each muscle I listed, twice per day. There are literally hundreds of stretches you can do for these muscles so you may have to do a little research, but if you get stuck or need clarification on something let me know.
Here is a good link to check out for help with stretches:
The last thing you need to do strengthen and stretch your ankle and foot muscles. We are going to do that 3 ways, two of them require you to be barefoot. Do #1 and #3 when you have time. Do #2 as often as you can. That sounds bad. Do the second one as often as you can.
1. Draw each letter of the alphabet with your foot. Sit in a chair (but not for more than 15 minutes) and one foot at a time draw each letter of the alphabet. This will make your feet and ankles stronger and more flexible.
2. Take your shoes off! We spend too much time in these highly engineered shoes that allow us to run super long distances, walk all day long, etc... It makes it so the muscles in the feet don't have to work as hard. My personal opinion, that is why we have so many runners that end up with serious overuse injuries.
3. Pick up marbles with your feet. Same deal with feet being in shoes all day, your toes aren't used to push off the ground so they just kind of sit there useless. Put those fellas to work. Pick up 10 marbles with each foot.
Foam roll, stretch, and strengthen your ankles and feet. This one may make the biggest difference on how your body feels. This can help eliminate a lot of that stiffness, soreness, and tightness we all have.
|Foam roller techniques to reduce stiff and sore muscles|
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