How to Massage Your Leg Muscles After a Run

by | Dec 18, 2019 | Legs, Massage

Self massage for runners is one of the most effective ways to recover after a run. Whether you have completed a marathon or been out for a jog, your leg muscles can take a lot of strain. Calves, glutes, Achilles tendon, and hamstrings are all affected. Your joints also need to work overtime – knees and ankles especially. Your back can also take strain during longer runs. While regular sessions with your chiropractor will ensure that your body recovers more quickly between runs, self massage for runners is highly important to keep muscles and joints from inflammation, injury, and pain.

How to Do Self Massage for Runners

How does self massage for runners work and which techniques can help you massage your legs after a run? Here are some of the best massage techniques to prevent leg pain after your runs.

  • Stroking. Keep your hand open and relax your fingers. Starting at your feet, glide your hands over your legs as you move your way up the leg. Make sure that you include each part of the leg, from the tops of your feet all the way upward. Start with lighter strokes and then apply more pressure with the palm of your hands. For best results, do this movement 10 times on each leg.
  • Pressing. Working your way up your leg, begin by firmly pressing each toe, one at a time. Move on to your Achilles tendon, continuing to press firmly. You can begin to increase the pressure on larger muscles such as calf and quad muscles. You can use one hand or both hands together. Repeat this movement a few times on each muscle area, on each leg.
  • Drumming. Open your hand or make a fist, then use the edge of your hand or your closed fist to lightly drum your muscles all along each leg. This movement eases cramps, due to its stimulating effect that increases blood flow to the area. You can increase or decrease the intensity on various parts as you go, drumming each area on each leg a few times.
  • Tennis ball. Along with hand massage, you can also use a tennis ball to apply firmer pressure onto muscles. Stand back on a wall or lie on the floor and place the ball beneath your leg, starting from the soles of the feet. Work your way up the leg, gently rolling as you go. Make sure that you stop to notice any pain or tenderness as you go – overworking tired muscles can cause further injury and inflammation.
  • Foam roller. Foam rollers work much the same way as tennis balls, however, they are softer. This can make the massage gentler – ideal when you are feeling particularly stiff after a long or intense run such as a marathon. Lying down, use the roller to massage each part of your leg, from the bottom up.

After your massage, try a warm or an ice-cold bath to further help to relax tired muscles. Ideal for helping you get the most from your runs, self massage for runners is an essential post-run recovery strategy that every