Working out is a fun, practical, and effective way to get fit, feel better, and improve your health.
Just as we need to exercise, we must also take good care of our muscles, connective tissues, and joint health.
Three popular methods for doing that include massage therapy, foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, and cupping therapy.
Today’s blog will discuss the combined benefits of these three approaches and why you should consider them.
1. Ease Muscle Discomfort
Massage therapy and foam rolling are two effective ways to ease muscle discomfort and release tight areas, also known as muscle knots.
Getting a massage from a certified therapist( I love mine) is generally best, but it isn’t always practical or affordable, which is where self-myofascial release comes in.
Cupping therapy can also ease muscle discomfort thanks to its ability to loosen tight areas in skeletal muscle. I recently tried cupping therapy and was blown away at the immediate release.
2. Improve Range of Motion
Tight and tense muscles often limit range of motion, making it more challenging to prepare for workouts and do exercises correctly. In addition, a limited range of motion can impact stability and the overall workout experience.
The good news is that massages, foam rolling, and cupping can ease muscle discomfort, improve range of motion, and promote peak performance. These effects are particularly pronounced on complex exercises like the bench press and squat.
3. Potentially Reduce The Injury Risk
The literature recognizes massage therapy and foam rolling as safe and effective approaches for reducing injury risk in athletes. Unfortunately, there isn’t much evidence regarding the effectiveness of cupping therapy for injury prevention.
Thanks to their ability to improve range of motion and support the recovery process, both approaches can allow you to train more safely and perform better.
4. Improve Blood Flow
Massages, foam rolling, and cupping therapy improve blood flow, which carries several notable benefits.
Each approach can allow blood to flow more freely around congested areas (knots), resulting in more oxygen and nutrients traveling to muscles and connective tissues. The advantage is that trainees can experience superior recovery during their workouts and between individual sessions.
In addition to improving recovery, superior blood flow can lead to better athletic performance and more progress in the long run.
5. Reduce Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Delayed-onset muscle soreness, also known simply as muscle soreness, is something we’ve all experienced at some point. It results from subjecting your body to a form or intensity of exercise you’re not used to.
Soreness is classified as delayed because it typically takes at least 24 hours to occur and often peaks 48 hours after working out. Depending on the type, intensity, and duration of exercise, it can range from mild to debilitating.
Some research suggests that massages, foam rolling, or cupping therapy after working out can reduce the subjective feeling of soreness in the following days. One likely explanation is that these approaches promote blood flow to the affected muscles, allowing metabolic by-products to be flushed out.
There you have it: five distinct advantages of massages, foam rolling, and cupping therapy.
Massages and foam rolling have the most scientific research among the approaches, but cupping therapy also shows promise.
Test these out to see which one you enjoy most.