Ah, foam rolling. We love to hate it. If you have yet to experience the pleasure in the excruciating pain that is foam rolling, then stop what you’re doing, head over to your local sporting goods store and pick one up. On second thought, finish this article first, square up your expectations and then go pick one up.
“SHUT THE FRONT DOOR; THIS HURTS!”
If you’re new to foam rolling, you might be wondering how something that is supposed to be so beneficial could hurt so much. Let me assure you; it WILL hurt, but I have found that it helps me prevent and treat injuries in my knees, hips, groin, calves, shins, etc. The gain is definitely worth the pain.
“I’M SITTING ON A GLORIFIED ROLLING PIN. THERE IS NO WAY I’M DOING THIS RIGHT.”
I’ll be honest and say that the first time I came across a roller was at a gym and I had no idea what I was doing. I think at one point, I even tried holding the roller in my hands and rolling it down my legs. Don’t laugh! I did a little research and came across a fantastic site with detailed instructions. Check it out and if you need more information, just do a search for your specific problem area.
“WHY DO MY LEGS LOOK LIKE THEY’VE BEEN KICKED BY A TODDLER?”
This is another one of those “learn from my mistakes” opportunities. After briefly studying correct techniques, I went to town and rolled my legs like a rolling pin on a pie crust. I know it would hurt. So I assumed all was good. However, the next day, I was black and blue. It’s true; I bruise like a peach, but I had, in fact, rolled too intensely. Take it slowly. Don’t spend too much time on one spot; if you do see some bruising, lighten up a bit.
“IT HURTS SO GOOD!”
Foam rolling is a lot like a deep tissue or sport’s massage. It hurts, period. But I have found that the process helps me move more freely and makes me feel better.
“I’M A ‘ROLL-IEVER.’”
I’ve struggled with outer knee and hip pain as a runner for years. Researching and practicing good foam-rolling technique has made these pains mostly a thing of the past. After years of doubting the benefits of foam rolling, I am now a “roll-iever.”
As products emerge every day that claim to relieve muscle tension, we can easily get caught up in the attempt to find one that actually works. Let me tell you, though, the hype around foam rolling isn’t just sugar coating. If you’re like me, you’ll get some serious relief, but I dare you to not tear up, yell or curse while you’re rolling.
What are your thoughts while foam rolling?