Grab your foam roller! It’s National Foam Rolling Day!
*Discalimer: This post contains Amazon Associate Links. All opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
“Calling all runners with tight muscles! Oh wait, that is probably most of us!”
Get out your foam roller! It’s National Foam Rolling Day!
I used to be so flexible as a kid. I could easily stretch my legs into a full split or raise my leg up and over my head.
I was a figure skater so this came in handy for fancy spins and twirls. But somehow as time wore on and I switched sports and grew into a runner my hamstrings and most muscles needed for running (and swimming and biking too) lost their flexibility. I love you Mom and Dad but not loving the genetics that have left me with tight muscles.
I am the woman attempting triangle pose on the yoga mat next to you with the huge grimace on her face as I twist further into the pose. I am the one with the cracking and popping of my joints and the discomfort. I am not stretchy like a rubber band anymore. I can still reach my hands to the floor in a forward fold but its not due to flexibility rather only because I have an unusually large wingspan (necessitating my bike to be set up specifically for my weird dimensions and often causing sleeves to come to that awkward mid-wrist length).
As a runner I have come to terms with the fact that my muscles will always be tight so it is extra important that foam rolling is part of my training and recovery especially when I am gearing up for big races.
What are foam rollers?
Foam rollers are used for self massage. The first ones that began appearing on the endurance sports scene were just that a foam cylinder that could be used to roll, or massage your tight muscles. Foam rollers allow you to put deeper pressure on areas that are tight and sore to do self myo-fascial release. Myofascial release is, “applying gentle sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion.” (SOURCE).
Now there are many types of foam rollers and other rolling devices that runners and athletes can use to help with muscles tightness and soreness.
Here are some of my favorites:
The GRID from Triggerpoint
The original Triggerpin
The Evofit Enso Roller
Foam Roller Exercises for Runners
There are so many great ways to uses a foam roller. They can be used to roll out your calves, your quads, your hamstrings, your IT band . . . any area that is tight and in need of release. Exercises done with a foam roller not only loosen but can be used to improve flexibility and are often used in rehab.
Here are some fantastic resources with exercises to be done with your foam roller:
- Foam Rolling For Runners from Runners World
- 10 Self-Myofascial Release Exercises for Runners from Active.com
- Ultimate Foam Rolling Guide for Runners from Run to The Finish
- Foam Rolling for Runners from Pumps & Iron
- Foam Rolling, The Necessary Evil from Run, Selfie, Repeat
Do you love or hate using a foam roller? Doe you have a favorite foam roller? Please share!