If you love going for a massage then this weeks tip is for you! Investing in a foam roller can provide you with an affordable alternative to massage therapy. Those round pieces of foam can deliver so many benefits of a deep tissue massage without the cost. And, they are so easy to take with you just about anywhere. I don’t leave home without mine when traveling.
Foam rolling is both dreaded and loved by so many. It really is something you should add to your bag of tricks. Foam roller exercises, also called myofascial release, are a form of massage that you can do before exercise to loosen up sore muscles and tight joints, or after a workout, to aid muscle recovery. Personally, I only do it after I run and couldn’t imagine doing before. I basically focus on my lower legs as that is the portion of my body I’ve had injuries. I was not even able to do one roll without terrible discomfort when I first started. I am up to 10 rolls with full body weight at this point. It is a process that made me sweat profusely when I started.
My PT recommended learning how to foam roll correctly as it makes all the difference. I spent time watching many youtube videos after he said that. I also was sent a video by my running coach that was specifically targeted toward my needs. I use the foam roller mostly for my lower legs to keep the tendons massaged and aid in recovery after runs. I think I will continue this protocol long after I stop running, if I ever do. Basically, I roll the front of my shins (that’s the part that took great effort to do) by putting my body weight on the roller just under my knee. Sitting on the roller I roll forward and back 10 times. When I started I couldn’t put my weight on it and I remember distinctly calling my coach and saying I could NOT do this as it hurt way too much. She informed me that that showed just how much I NEED to do this. I also focus on the spot on the back of my lower leg where my Achilles and Perineal tendons connect. There is a spot where all the tendons intersect and I focus on that spot. I also will roll and tight spots I feel on my body and there have been many. My absolute favorite is to lay with the roller just under my neck. You know that tight spot where your tension lives. Such relief!
If you use a foam roller, please share your experience. Please leave comments below.
Foam Roller I Use
My Coach’s Video