Tight Muscles VS Firm/Toned Muscles
I am happy to say, I have several older clients who are very active. They frequent the gym, have seen personal trainers, play golf and tennis, run, and do aerobics and yoga. All of which is GREAT! The longer we can stay active and treat our bodies well, the healthier and stronger our bodies and minds will stay.
A few of them are not getting on my massage table as frequently as I or they would like. Most of the time they are coming in when the aches and pains have gotten out of their tolerance range. I am constantly asking these clients the same question, “Are you stretching after your workouts?”, to which they reply, a little embarrassed, “Not all the time.”. My “favorite” answer though, was this, from a 50+-year-old woman(in really great shape other than tight muscles) “I don’t stretch because I don’t want my muscle to be flabby and lose their shape. I want my butt to be nice and tight!”. And they were tight, I will say that, but tight and sore! So I gently explain to my clients the difference between tight sore muscles and firm and toned muscles, and tell them the benefits of stretching post workout.
Here’s the deal: Tight and sore muscles are is a state of mild spasm and are not recovering properly from being worked out. They also run a higher risk of cramping and spamming. Firm and toned muscles hold their shape, but are more pliable to the touch, no “knots” as it were. And most of all are not painful!
It is much more beneficial to stretch when the muscles when they are warmed and have increased circulation, muscles should NOT be stretched when they are cold. Benefits of stretching post workout…
-Muscles recover faster
-Helps to reduce muscle fatigue
-Calms nerves and relaxes the mind
-Allows your mind to connect with your body
So remember, stretch after you work out and get frequent massage therapy!