It Hurts So Good

by Meg on January 13, 2012

“Foam Rolling is like crack. You don’t realize what you’re missing until you try it. Once you do, you don’t stop.”

- Harold Gibbons

This was part of Harold’s reply to my post yesterday and I couldn’t agree more! He nailed it.

Foam rolling is seriously addictive. I love it so much! So, I am really excited to be writing this post today Smile But what even got me more excited is that fact that all of you seem to be excited, too! I got a few replies, emails, and even texts on my readers’ excitement to learn more about foam rolling, so for that I thank you! I can’t wait to get you all started with foam rolling, too! Smile 

It was just over a year ago when I was introduced to foam rolling. My trainer, at the time, took me through a full body workout and ended our session with foam rolling. I had no idea what this thing was

peachesncream 013

The thought of rolling myself around on a tube seemed pretty silly and made me feel kind of awkward, but I went with it. After the session my impression on foam rolling was definitely not what it is today. Today, I love it; I do it daily – almost. Last year, I thought it hurt, was awkward, and silly.

Oh, I was so wrong.

If you haven’t used a foam roller before, usually the first time you do it will feel the most “painful” or intense. But, it does get better.

So why foam roll?

The foam roller is used to massage muscles and tendons. Basically, it is like getting a deep tissue massage!

The foam roller is able to break down scar tissue.

Increases flexibility

Increases blood flow and circulation to soft tissues

The foam roller is able to perform myofascial release which is a technique that results in softening and lengthening of fascia.

Relieves joint pains

As you can see, there are many reasons as to why you should use a foam roller and I am sure you could even add a few more to my list! Personally, I use my foam roller before and after my workouts. I massage my muscles before my workouts to prepare them for the work that they are about to do and then again after my workout to massage them to prevent soreness. By doing so, I have seen so many changes in myself and fitness level. Since I began doing foam rolling exercises before my workouts, I found that I was more flexible and “ready” for my workout. Lunges are something I often feel uncomfortable doing, but I seem to go deeper in my lunge after I foam roll! I am also definitely less sore if I foam roll after my workouts, so I make sure to do so after each leg workout for sure and whenever I feel the need to. It’s really convenient that I have my own foam roller because I can just whip it out at home while I am watching TV (or waiting for my latest creation to finish baking in the oven) and perform a self massage Winking smile It’s quite wonderful Smile I am sure you would love a foam roller if you got your hands on one!
I was going to order one online, but while I was home for Christmas, my Mom and I went shopping and actually found one at a local fitness store! So, I would imagine that your hometown would also have a foam roller for you to purchase? Smile The one I purchased is different than some foam rollers than you have seen before. It is a Trigger Point Performance Therapy foam roller. The reason I say it may be different than others you have seen before is because of the “grid” it has. Each different grid represents a different part of a hand or hand movement. For an example, the square grids are used as a palm whereas the smallest grids are used as fingertips. Your foam roller definitely does not have to have these grids, this is just the one I chose to purchase Smile

So now that you know a little more about foam rolling and the benefits of using one, I will share some pictures of various exercises you can do and explain what each exercise is used for Smile

I usually start from the bottom up…

The exercise for the calve muscles

foamrolla 035

It’s easy to make the exercises more intense, too. Simply cross one leg over the other for increased pressure.

foamrolla 036

The exercise for massaging the hamstrings

foamrolla 042

To get more of a stretch, reach for your toes

foamrolla 045

Or like I said above, cross one leg over the other

foamrolla 044

Now flip over and massage those quads!

foamrolla 037

For increased intensity, massage one leg at a time

foamrolla 038

Inner thigh exercise

foamrolla 048

Glutes! (My personal favourite!)

foamrolla 040

(It isn’t apparent in the picture, but try to lean to the side of your body with the foot that is off of the ground for a better glute stretch and massage)

IT band

foamrolla 041

(This one will most likely be the most intense of all of the exercises, especially if it is your first time!)

I hope my pictures helped you out; I was hoping to do a VLOG, but just didn’t have the time. If you need clarification check out Naomi’s video or Sarah’s. Smile

I highly suggest trying foam rolling if you haven’t yet! It seems as though, everyone I know that foam rolls loves it and guarantees positive results, so give it a try! Smile Like I said before, you can do it daily (if you want), before your workouts,  and after your workouts. Personally, I spend more time on my muscles that are the most sore, so you can try that, too! Smile

Remember, I am not a CPT, I know what I know from my own research and experiences! Smile

Do you foam roll?
What is your favourite foam rolling technique/exercise?
After reading this post will you try foam rolling?

Lots of love,

Meg
xoxoxoxo

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

miriamyounsi@gmail.com January 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

hey hun,

foam rolling is so great! i also do it from time to time but i know i should really make it a routine :)
when foam rolling after your workout, do you do it before or after stretching?
thanks for the pictures, they are really helpful!

love,
miriam

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 3:20 PM

I personally do it before :)

Reply

Felicia (Natural + Balanced) January 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM

love foam rolling, but who cares about that look at those MUSCLES on you!!!

Reply

Heidi January 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM

This was soooo helpful! Thank you! I have got to get a foam roller asap!

Reply

sdorsay (itrainthereforeieat) January 13, 2012 at 1:43 PM

A foam roller is definitely a tool that most people should own in my opinion! I foam roll after every training session — mostly focusing on my hip flexors, hip external rotators (glute medius, etc), and IT bands. If there is a day when I don’t foam roll, I definitely pay for it!! I think many of the problems that people have when working out come from imbalances, and myofascial release can help these imbalances so much. The inner thigh rolling though, always gets me a few strange looks from others in the gym, it’s a slightly awkward position :)

Reply

itsrobfiasco January 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

i’ve been thinking about getting one. that exact one actually. it’s been in my amazon cart for weeks now!!!

Reply

Tara January 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I looooove foam rolling! When I first started weight lifting, I was still dancing five days a week so my muscles were incredibly loose anyway from stretching them out that the foam roller didn’t too much. But as I started working a desk job and developing more tightness I have come to love it!! I usually use the roller three times a week, after I workout. I don’t do it before I workout simply because I’m already pretty limber haha. I would do it more often but I’m always in a hurry to get to work after my training session! And I would buy one to have at home but I haven’t found one for less than $90 here. Sucks big time.

PS. Your arms look seriously jacked in these pictures!!

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM

you have NO IDEA how much that means to me coming from YOU :D xo

Reply

nicole the exbulimic January 13, 2012 at 4:21 PM

i can’t tell you exactly how fabulous your arms have become! you would make an excellent yoga girl, in addition to model, as i commented about yesterday. x

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 4:33 PM

awwwwwwww u r so so sweet

Reply

LightOnMyFeet January 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I want a foam roller! I’m thinking I need to invest in one since my legs are so sore today I can barely walk! Oh and I’m soo jealous of your arm muscles! Inspiration :)

Reply

ilovefetacheese January 13, 2012 at 6:53 PM

NICE MUSCLES PRETTY GIRL!! <3 I LOVE foam rolling

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 6:59 PM

thank uuuuuuuuuuuu :)

Reply

Juliet January 13, 2012 at 7:35 PM

I AGREE! JEEBUZ. You’re seriously doing a good job. Keep eating BIG. It’s working.

Here’s another great foam rolling vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8caF1Keg2XU

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Juliet, you are so sweet <3

Reply

Harold Gibbons January 14, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Damn it, Juliet, you beet me to this. That video from Tony/Eric is the best one out there.

Reply

Alexandra January 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

LOVE foam rolling! :D I was too cheap to buy a real one though, so I cut up an old pool tube haha It works amazing though!
Thanks for the picture tutorial girl! You’re lookin ripped! ;)

Reply

melanie January 13, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Your arms look fantastic!! That’s it…Jamie Eason here I come!!:)

Reply

Cheryl Madliger January 13, 2012 at 9:41 PM

I’ve never seen such TASTEFUL foam rolling pics. It’s hard to take classy ones…CUTE! :)

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

awww hehe thanks love <3

Reply

Kate @ Chasing It January 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I LOVE FOAM ROLLING!!!!!! I don’t have the grid one (I really want it though lol) but my roller definitely hurts sometimes haha. Especially the IT bands, you’re right, that’s the worst! I used to just use it after runs, but now I’ve been doing it beforehand too – definitely seeing an improvement!

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

yes! doing it BEFORE is great :)

Reply

dayglows January 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Foam rolling is awesome! I try to always do my IT Band before and after a run. I definitely notice a difference when I do. When I was home I only brought my stick and it just does not compare.

Reply

Lyn @ FueledBySalad January 13, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I really really really wanna try foam rolling! I’ve heard good things about it everywhere but I haven’t had the time to go out and find a foam roller. I’ve tried emulating it with a rolling pin though and it was really good for my calves.

Reply

Harold Gibbons January 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM

Thank’s for the quote, Meg! Nice explanation. If you’re looking for some more painful and awesome ways to address tissue quality and mobiility issues, check out Kelly Starrett’s http://www.mobilitywod.com/

Reply

Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Such a helpful post! Thanks hun! Want to have a tea date and go foam roller shopping with me next week? :D

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

how could I say no to that? ;)

Reply

Life's a Bowl January 14, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Thanks for sharing- the pictures help to explain them all too… I had no clue there were so many different ways to use a foam roller- I am new to using them and have just been using it for my glutes [no complaints, it feels great] and look forward to trying some new “rolls’ ;P

Reply

lovetotrain January 14, 2012 at 9:13 AM

great post dear!!!

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

thanks amy xo

Reply

Emma January 14, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Those pictures are very helpful. When i foam roll a muscle group the day after I work it out, it is the MOST painful/amazing thing ever. Hurts so good.

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

it does hurt so good :D

Reply

Adi January 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

This was so great! You’re so right, you can’t go back! Foam rolling has been one of the only things that has kept me injury free

Reply

fitpeanut January 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I don’t do foam rolling, but after this post I ll probably try it !
Btw your shoulders are really ripped =)

Reply

Meg (A Dash of Meg) January 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

so happy you are thinking of trying out foam rolling :) and thank you <3

Reply

jane January 15, 2012 at 2:29 AM

you are so grounded and happy sounding.

i’m so confused with things now…i do need to gain…no gym , so i’m not doing the livefit trainer or any real workout program…but i wonder if that style of eating would be helpful or not or if it would be enough (without having to buy and eat like 12 ounces of meat and fish a day…)…

my bedtimes “snack” is so big…
a “good” lesser amount for me for bedtime is : a half-cup yogurt + protein scoop + 2 tbsps nut butter + 2 tbsps of jam (jam…yum)…and that is when I have self-control…

I don’t know …sucks…

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: