Do-it-yourself sports massage

Today's goal: Do-it-yourself sports massage

If weekly (or daily!) massages were free, you'd probably be the first in line. But with an average price tag around $60 per hour-long rub, it's not exactly a budget-friendly expense. Plus, sneaking the luxury into your crammed schedule can be a challenge.

Luckily, you have the solution right at your fingertips: self-massage. "Taking 10 minutes at the beginning of the day or after a workout to release knots that form in your muscles can relieve pain and soreness as well as prevent injuries," said Rich Poley, the author of "Self-Massage for Athletes". "Knots, aka trigger points, are small injuries that occur in the muscle. If they're not released, they get bigger over time and cause stress and strain." Other muscles have to work harder to compensate for the injured muscle's responsibilities, making them more susceptible to trigger points, too. No thank you!

Instead, try this 10-minute self-massage technique: Simply run your fingertips along your muscles, searching for sore spots. When you find one, apply pressure with your middle and pointer fingers and rub in a circular motion for one to two minutes until it releases. Continue moving your fingers along your muscles until you find another spot. For hard-to-reach places, like your back, lie on a tennis ball and apply firm pressure to painful spots. Move your body in small, circular motions to help relieve them.

"Remember to close your eyes and take deep breaths," Poley said. "Your muscles will release more readily if your body is relaxed."

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