Often, when one feels stiff or has an injury he/she tries to stretch the affected area. The issue is, a knot that cannot be stretched. Stretching will only tighten a knot. Think of this as putting a knot in a rubber band and stretching the band by pulling on both ends. You will notice that the knot begins to tighten and becomes harder to remove.
If I recommend only one piece of fitness equipment for athletes or for the general population that piece of equipment would be… a foam roller. Foam rollers are incredible due to the self-myofascial release they allow. Foam rollers help to restore the quality of muscle tissue and the soft connective tissue also known as fascia, which can become knotted due to injuries, disuse or lack of stretching. These knots or adhesions cause pain and reduced flexibility. Foam rollers restore order within the body.
Youth’s and children, in particular, can reap the benefits of rolling out the body because their muscles can become extremely tight at this stage.
Foam rollers, unlike massages, are very inexpensive while being effective. Many fitness professionals consider the foam roller the “poor man’s massage”.