After a long day at work, it is natural to feel soreness and tightness in your muscles. If left unaddressed, muscle tightness can lead to postural misalignment and decreased range of motion in joints. It is therefore important to learn how to loosen your tight muscles.
How to Loosen Tight Muscles
1. Use Heating Patches
You can use heating patches to loosen your tight muscles and they work by reducing inflammation. Just be sure to follow directions on the package. As heating patches are mostly sold over-the-counter, you can buy them conveniently. Electric heating pads are also available today, which work quite effectively, but take care to not sleep with a heating pad.
2. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium promotes muscle relaxation. You can find many fruits and veggies rich in magnesium. Bananas are a great source of magnesium, and so are peanuts, spinach, almonds, and brown rice. Alternatively, you can take magnesium supplements to increase your magnesium intake, which in turn will help loosen tight muscles. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
3. Try Muscle Tension
All you have to do is squeeze and release your muscles to improve blood circulation to the area, which also helps relieve soreness.
Start by squeezing the deltoid muscle on one of your arms. Maintain the pressure for about five seconds, and then release the pressure. Be sure to keep your arm in a relaxed state to avoid causing any stress to surrounding muscles. Do it for about five minutes and then move to another muscle.
4. Try Stretching
Stretching your muscles before and after any physical activity helps make it flexible. Stretch each muscle group for at least 30 seconds for good effects. You can try the following stretches:
- Roll your foot and ankle in circles. Be gentle with your movement.
- Stretch your calf muscles by pulling your foot in your direction and then pointing your foot back down.
- Lift your shoulders up towards your ears and roll them back and around.
- Stretch your neck by leaning your head to each shoulder for 15 seconds.
5. Practice Meditation
Meditation is a great way to reduce muscle tension. It reduces mental stress to make you feel good physically. If you are concerned about how to loosen tight muscles after a busy day, you can try meditation during the evening hours.
- Find a quiet place to meditate. You can lie flat on your back or sit with your legs crossed.
- Be sure to release your stress and visualize your muscles becoming loose.
- Pay special attention to your breathing as well.
6. Do Myofascial Release
You can use a hard foam roller to do myofascial release on your own. This therapy helps the targeted muscle as well as the tissue to relax.
- Get a foam roller, place it on the floor right beneath your tight muscle, and put your body weight on it.
- Then, slowly roll your body from end to end until your muscle becomes loose.
7. Do Massage
How to loosen tight muscles? You can have a professional massage done to loosen your tight muscles. Only let experienced massage therapists work on your body because they know how to locate and manipulate different muscles as well as connective tissues. Both deep tissue massage and traditional Swedish massage work great to relieve muscle tension. Sometimes, you can also try a self-massage for relief:
- Simply sit in a comfortable position and apply some oil on your sore muscle.
- Use your hands to massage the area. Let your hands glide across your skin in a gentle way. You need to stimulate the full length of the muscle.
- Keep looking for pressure points and apply firm pressure to get good results.
8. Hang Upside Down
It may be a rather unconventional way to loosen your tight muscles, but it is really effective. By letting gravity do its work, you can get in a deeper state of relaxation.
- Find a bar and wrap your knees around it.
- Then, let your torso and arms hang towards the floor.
- Just hang for a minute only, because staying in this position for long can lead to accumulation of blood in your head, which is not healthy.
9. Spend Time in Sauna, Bath, and Steam Room
You can take a hot bath or spend time in a steam room or sauna to feel relaxed. These options work by increasing your core body temperature, which in turn increases your blood circulation. With increased blood flow, all muscles in your body will receive more nutrients and oxygen. Spending only 10 minutes in the bath, steam room, or sauna can work wonders for your muscles.
- If you have an injury, be sure to apply some ice after a workout before you take a hot bath.
- It is even better to perform some stretching exercises while in the bath.
10. Try Acupuncture
If you are wondering how to loosen tight muscles, try acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment that works great to help relax your mind and body. The trained acupuncturist knows about the pressure points and can focus on these points to help loosen your tight muscles.