For many cyclists, the months between October and March are used for long, easy base miles and gym sessions in an attempt to build a stronger core in preparation for the coming summer season. Putting in the miles and building up strength are both great things to do – but the resulting achey muscles can be a bit annoying.
Inflammation as a result of exercise is a sign that your body is adapting to the work you’ve been putting in – it’s a good thing. The painful side effects can be a bit annoying, though – and you can limit them through massage which encourages blood flow to the damaged muscles. Blood carries with it oxygen and nutrients that your body needs to repair itself, and grow stronger.
Of course, the pro cyclists of the world can often get regular massages – but most of us aren’t that lucky. Thankfully, there are a number of home massage tools available to help you out.
Foam rollers are long, cylindrical massage tools that you roll your body over, using your own weight to
inflict provide the pressure. There are various different styles – some come with dimples, ridges or other textured surfaces to aid the massage, and some are made of firmer foam than others – but you can get a good one from about £20.
Foam rollers are excellent for targeting large muscles or muscle groups – the IT band, back and shoulders and calves. Using a foam roller can be a bit painful if your muscles are tight, but if you’re dedicated and use one for ten minutes a day, it’ll become much more comfortable.