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3 Methods to Loosen Muscles Effectively

Dec 22, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes people make after working out is not properly cooling down their body's and relaxing their muscles. While you may feel proud of how hard you just work, you may also feel the tension start to build up in your main muscle groups. If you want your muscles to grow, you don't just have to work them hard during your session, you need to properly allow them to rest so they can regrow. To loosen muscles is a key component to getting stronger. Read on to learn how.

 

How to Loosen Muscles

1. Stretches

Stretching after your workout is a great way to keep your muscles from tensing up. You want to stretch right after your work since your muscles are still warm and flexible. Give the following stretches a try.

  • For hamstrings. In a standing position or sitting with your legs together, stretch out in front of you reach to touch your toes.
  • For quadriceps. At a standing position, bend on leg at the knee behind you. Grab your foot and pull slightly so the knee moves back more. Use a chair for balance or hold out your opposite arm, repeat on the other leg. 
  • For triceps. This stretch can be done at a stand or seated position. Extend one of your arms over your head and bend it at the elbow so that the arm is behind the head. Reach your other hand to the elbow and gently press down. Repeat on the other side.
  • For calf. This stretch is best done on steps but can be done on a curb or any other place that has a slight step with sturdy and stable ground. Place your foot so it is half way on the step, or so the heel of the foot is hanging off the step. Slowly apply your weight to the leg of the same foot and lower the heel. You will feel a pull where the calf muscles are located.
  • For the back. How to loosen muscles in the back? This can be done by kneeling on the floor. Bring your arms up and begin to stretch them up as far as you can, allow your back to curve to loosen the muscles of the entire back.
  • For obliques. Stand so the feet are about shoulder width apart and lean over to one side, bringing the arm up over your head. Repeat on the other side.
  • For ankles. Sit or stand, lift one leg slightly off the floor and roll the ankle in circle.
  • For shoulders. In a sitting or standing position, lift the shoulders up towards the ears. Roll them back down and all the way around.
  • For the neck. Lean your head to one of your shoulders and hold the position for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

2. Oral Treatments

If stretching is not enough to ease the pain of tense muscles, then you might want to consider taking something else. Try these oral treatments to help relax your muscles.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are the most common over the counter pain relievers that can help with muscles soreness. They help reduce pain and inflammation that can be caused when you work your muscles too hard.
  • Magnesium. Magnesium can be found naturally in spinach, brown rice, almonds, and peanuts. You can also take a magnesium supplement to help relax the muscles. Talk to your doctor before you take magnesium supplements.
  • Carisoprodol. This prescription medication is often used in combination with physical therapy. This muscle relaxer blocks the sensation of pain between the nerves and brain. It should only be used for short periods of time, so speak to your doctor for further information.
  • Cyclobenzaprine. How to loosen muscles in the back can be more of a challenge. If you suffer from lower back pain, then you want to consider talking to your doctor about cyclobenzaprine.

3. Additional Suggestions

  • Sleep. It is vital that you get enough sleep, so your body can work at repairing the damage to your muscles caused from the workout. If you skip on getting enough shut-eye, it can take longer for your muscles to recover and puts you at a higher risk for serious injury.
  • Heating source. Heating patches or a heating pad can be great to loosen tense muscles.
  • Warm bath. At the end of the day, soak in a warm bath with Epsom salt. The magnesium in the Epsom salt stimulates the release of serotonin which calms and relaxes the body, this will allow your muscles to relax as well.
  • Sauna. Sitting in a steam room or a sauna for 15 minutes will improve your blood circulation and keep your muscles loose. Your muscles get more oxygen from the blood increase and this will help in the recovery process.
  • Mediate. It might sound like an odd way to loosen your stiff muscles, but meditation is all about focusing on the breath and relaxation. The great thing about meditation is that it can be done anywhere. Remember to focus on your breath and allow yourself to visualize your muscles relaxing starting from either the top of your head or your toes and working your way down or up your entire body.
  • Massage. You can gently massage your own muscles by squeezing the tense muscles, which will help increase the blood flow to this area. How to loosen muscles from messages? It is best done by a professional, however. A professional massage therapist will be able to give you a deep tissue massage that you will be unable to perform on yourself.
  • Acupuncture. If needles don't scare you, consider this ancient Chinese treatment. Acupuncture can help reduce muscles tension, inflammation and stress.