We all overdo it sometimes. Or we tend to hold stress in certain places.
I’m a neck person.
As in, I’ll often hold stress in my neck and shoulders. I’ll have to consciously relax them back and down as they tend to get tight and roll forward- which is no bueno for your body mechanics and good posture.
The reason I’m typing this now is that my shoulders have gotten painfully tight again. It’s stress for sure, but also just hitting the weights too much.
I’m realizing that training my shoulders more than once a week leads to them balling up into little angry knots that hate me.
Shoulders can be tricky. You want to train them, but you have to be really careful not to overdo it. Especially in any movement where you are pushing weight up over your head. You also want to be conscious not to hold tension in your neck or jaw on lifting movements.
But if you are like me and they get tight in spite of all this- there are some things you can do.
First off is the really old school option of a hot bath with epsom salts. You can be fancy and do magnesium flakes instead. I like to add 2-3 cups to a very hot bath along with 10 drops of lavender oil. It’s incredibly therapeutic and the magnesium acts as a natural muscle relaxant.
A great foam rolling option is the rumble roller.
It looks like a medieval torture device but this thing works. I bought mine back in 2013 when my shoulders were in awful shape from breastfeeding and carrying my baby around 24-7. I still use it almost everyday. I used to have to go to the chiro weekly because my back, neck and shoulders were in so much pain. I very rarely go now. At around $70 it isn’t cheap but mine paid for itself pretty quickly.
You can also go super cheap and use a tennis ball. Just put the ball between your tight muscle and the wall or the floor (whatever works best, depending on the muscle) and rub it out. I really like this method for working out my tight hip flexors.
Of course the cheapest (free!) option is to stretch every day. Learn some good stretches and do them often. Try to maintain good posture throughout your day. When you drive give your posterior neck muscles a workout by pushing your head back into the head rest instead of letting it go forward like a turtle.
Of course nothing really works as well as a good ole massage. You can do what I do and beg a message from a friend or family member. Or go ahead and treat yourself to a professional massage. Sometimes it’s the only thing that’ll do!