I have recently become obsessed with F.R. I know that any obsession is not good, but this one just seems so healthy, so right! I think about him mornings, noon and night. We meet at the gym too, usually in the "meditation room".
I start to ache when I haven't seen him in a while, and when my body touches him, sometimes the pain is unbearable, but it soon subsides and turns to pleasure.
We even watch T.V. together on occasion, since sometimes we don't have much to do, except roll with it.
I trust you, I think you should meet F.R.
Do you have a Foam Roller? If you don't, it's something everyone needs in their life! Ah, you were thinking F.R. was a man huh? Well, he is, he's my main man!
Seriously, foam rollers are effective in alleviating muscle pain and soreness and actually will help promote muscle growth. They should be used regularly, even when you are not feeling sore.
It's called Self Myofascial Release.
A bit on an explanation according to Mike Robertson, MS, CSCS:
Self-myofascial release (SMR) using a foam roller or other implement is possible thanks to the principle known as autogenic inhibition. While you’ve probably never heard of your golgi tendon organ (GTO) before, it’s the key ingredient that makes foam rolling effective. The GTO is a mechanoreceptor found at the muscle-tendon junction; for lack of a better description, it tells us the level of tension within the muscle/tendon group.
When tension increases to the point of high risk of injury (e.g., tendon rupture), the GTO stimulates muscle spindles to relax the muscle in question. This reflex relaxation is autogenic inhibition. The muscle contraction that precedes the passive stretch stimulates the GTO, which in turn causes relaxation that facilitates this passive stretch and allows for greater range of motion. With foam rolling, you can simulate this muscle tension, thus causing the GTO to relax the muscle.
Essentially, you get many of the benefits of stretching and then some. It's also fairly well accepted that muscles need to not only be strong, but pliable as well. Regardless of whether you're a bodybuilder, strength athlete, or ordinary weekend warrior, it's important to have strength and optimal function through a full range of motion. While stretching will improve the length of the muscle, SMR and massage work to adjust the tone of the muscle.
I suggest you start a love affair of your own!