As much as I talk about how important it is to go hard and train hard with great intensity, (which it is), it is also extremely important to balance it out with adequate recovery. One of the easiest and simplest ways to recover and regenerate on your own is to foam roll. I know you have all seem them before, they are those foam cylinder things in the corner somewhere and they are very beneficial to making your body right.
Foam rolling or self myofascial release is a great way to eliminate trigger points, reduce muscle soreness, increase blood circulation and improve the integrity of your fascia. Foam rolling is basically a poor man’s massage. You use gravity to push down on your muscles and roll back and forth in various positions to iron out any knots you may have. Foam rolling is a fantastic way to start your exercise routine by preparing the muscles for action and increasing blood flow. It is also a great recovery tool to aid in reducing muscle soreness post workout.
When foam rolling, you may go over some muscles which are not sore or tender at all and it does not hurt. These are good properly functioning muscles and need very little attention. However, you may and probably will find some spots which are so sore and tender you can barely put your full weight on them. These are not good muscles. They are very tight and knotted and are in need of a lot of work. One of the general rules they say when foam rolling is: To keep rolling on the targeted area until the pain subsides. You have to think of your muscles like a rubber band, always stretching and contracting. Now those spots you found in your muscles foam rolling are knots in the rubber band. The foam rollers job is to undo those knots so the muscle can go back to its fully functioning state.
Here is a great video demonstrating the technique and muscles to roll.
Foam rollers can be purchased almost anywhere nowadays, mainly in the sporting goods stores. I would highly recommend making the investment for you and your body.