Is it ok if I massage my own muscles before and after my workout and maybe in between so I can have better muscle tonus so I can do more volume in my workout (I have no one who can do it for me, so that is not an option).
How hard should I do the massage would you say? Like enough to get everything moving but not so hard that I kind of hurt muscle tissue?
How long is a typical massage after or before a workout? Or does it depend on how much you think is needed?
This might be an option for you if you have to message yourself. All you need is a bio-foam roll. This form of stretching utilizes the concept of autogenic inhibition to improve soft tissue extensibility.
I do this quite often pre-workout. The key is to use lotion. Otherwise it will require too much effort. I keep a pump bottle of Biotone in my gym back for this reason.
Since you obviously don’t have as much leverage as someone else working on you, you won’t be able to get very deep, but if you stick with quick light strokes you can get the muscles to loosen up as the superficial layers relax. I recommend about a minute or two per muscle group before a workout. This might not sound like much but if you’re doing this on a regular basis (along with regular massage), the cumulative effect is pretty significant.
This is not a substitute for regular massage work by a skilled therapist, but it’s a nice way to fill the gaps and keep the muscles tuned between therapy sessions.
Regarding self-myofascial release, this is also helpful, but it’s not massage. Myofascial release, whether by a therapist or with a foam roller is more structural/remedial in nature, whereas massage is more for recovery and pre-workout preparation.
The work I do on myself really isn’t deep enough to justify any special creams or ingredients. There are very modest limits to what can be done with self-massage and I pretty much stay within those limits. I leave the serious stuff for the therapist.