It's what we all think...
"I'm tight. I really need to stretch."
Let's not get technical here and just breakdown what happens in your body with tight muscles and why you should probably go purchase a foam roller and tigger ball today.
BTW... Tigger ball... that's the answer.
You're not smashing and manipulating your muscle tissue enough.
You're Muscles Will Always Be Tight
Muscles get tight because we put them into the same positions everyday... day after day.
And immediately after our workout we go back to our poor posture and same old routines.
It's really important to stretch throughout the day on a workout day.
As you're muscles try to recover... you want to keep them moving so they don't get crazy tight.
And I'm not talking long stretching sessions... just short one or two stretches... a couple mobility moves. That's it.
Muscles will always be tight.
So What's The Point of Stretching?
I love yoga.
But because of yoga, a magical almost religious aura has been placed on stretching.
But stretching is not magic or hippie dippie.
Stretching is just about restoring the natural length of your muscles.
Remember some muscles are in a shortened position because we keep them there by...
Sitting in a chair the majority of our day.
This shorten muscle needs to be manipulated... rolled and stretched... so it can regain it's full length.
That's all stretching is...
It's restoring the full length (and hopefully) full range of motion to our muscles.
Stretching does not lengthen the muscle beyond it's natural length... in fact over stretching can put you at risk of over extending your ligaments... NOT GOOD!
So Why Does Stretching Not Work?
It does work.
It just takes a really... really... really... really... really long time to work.
It's not like you stretch for a month and bam you can do crazy yogi things.
It takes time... consistency... and repetition.
But there might be more to it.
When a muscle is short... or when a muscle gets compressed all day... or just because we live...
Muscles get adhesions.
These are tiny spots in the muscle fascia that ball together and block blood flow.
These little spots pull the muscle making it shortened and if they get really bad... you start to have pain.
Enter Smashing Muscles
Foam rolling is smashing muscles.
Trigger balls are a more focused way of smashing muscles.
Smashing muscles is another form of muscle manipulation. All it is... is a way to give yourself a massage... because...
A massage is smashing muscles. It's muscle manipulation.
You know how it hurts really bad when you press on certain spots of your body?
These hot spots... or knots... are where there are muscle adhesions.
And you're breaking them up.
You are restoring blood flow into the muscle.
And when blood comes back to these parts of the muscle...
You can stretch it and start to restore the full range of motion.
Everybody has dozens of these hot spots and it pays huge dividends if you spend a little time smashing them out everyday.
My favorite trigger balls are Jill Millers from Yoga Tune Up.
They are soft, but not too soft. You can really press in hard without worrying about muscle bruising.
If Stretching Is Not Working... Do This...
First... get a foam roller and a set of trigger balls.
Foam roll your big muscles and do some trigger ball smashing on specific spots.
Second... after your smash... stretch those areas...
Third be consistent.
And you will find things do loosen up.