You get up every morning, you get yourself out of bed, and you walk out your door and every morning you walk straight through some cobwebs that some spider makes every night. Every day you do the same thing, but then one day you take a vacation. Now the spider has a couple of days to build bigger and stronger webs which are much harder to break up when you return.
Muscles work in a very similar way to this in that if you don’t use them on a regular basis they build up fibres or ‘cobwebs’ between them that restrict your muscles from moving and flexing properly which can slow you down and increase your risk of injury. The more you don’t use your muscles the more chance they have to build these bonds making them harder and harder to break apart.
This process usually happens when you are sleeping and it works by developing fibres between the moving surfaces of your muscles through a process of covalent and hydrogen bonding which leads to adhesions and impeded muscle movement and stiffness. Just like cobwebs if they aren’t cleaned out regularly they become stronger and are more difficult to remove. There are some things you can do to help though.
Getting out of bed is always one of the hardest parts of the day, and it’s common and very natural to feel very stiff when you first get up. This is because your muscles have started seizing together, but as you start to move around you’ll notice your movement starts to free up.
An example of this is if you’ve ever seen your dog or cat wake up you’ll notice the first thing they do is stretch out their legs.
This is why the first and best defense against this bonding of the muscles is pre-morning stretches. Stretching in the morning before you do anything else breaks up these bonds freeing up your muscles making you feel much fresher for the rest of the day.
Along with stretching another great way to get yourself up in the morning and get your muscles going is a small muscle strengthening workout. Here are some great exercises you should incorporate to help work all of your different muscle groups.
- Deep Squats: Squats are an essential part of any training program because they are great compound exercises that work almost all of your muscles. Just remember to go slow, and to try and stretch all of your muscles, and to go as deep as you can to break up any bonding.
- Shoulder circles: shoulder circles are a very easy warm up exercise that is great at freeing up any shoulder tension you might be feeling.
- Lunges: lunges are another really popular exercise because they are tough to do, can be done at a varying degree of intensity, and they stretch out most of the muscles in your legs.
If you get an injury that affects your movement a great way to free up any bonding that might be occurring is a deep tissue massage. These kinds of massages are a way to manually target muscles groups and to break up bonding and stiffness and in most cases will speed up your recovery as well.
Just remember to look after your muscles and to not stop using them. If you have a sedentary job then I strongly recommend you take up stretching sessions in the morning to help keep you alert and to stop your muscles from seizing from lack of use.