It Hurts So Good
“Foam Rolling is like crack. You don’t realize what you’re missing until you try it. Once you do, you don’t stop.”
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 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!
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
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 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 It’s quite wonderful 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? 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
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
I usually start from the bottom up…
The exercise for the calve muscles
It’s easy to make the exercises more intense, too. Simply cross one leg over the other for increased pressure.
The exercise for massaging the hamstrings
To get more of a stretch, reach for your toes
Or like I said above, cross one leg over the other
Now flip over and massage those quads!
For increased intensity, massage one leg at a time
Inner thigh exercise
Glutes! (My personal favourite!)
(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)
(This one will most likely be the most intense of all of the exercises, especially if it is your first time!)
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! 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!
Remember, I am not a CPT, I know what I know from my own research and experiences!
Do you foam roll?
What is your favourite foam rolling technique/exercise?
After reading this post will you try foam rolling?
Lots of love,