Foam Rolling 101

 

I did some heavy deadlifts this week. (Actually a two rep PR at 265lbs – yippee!) But, boy is my booty feeling it today. Literally, it’s my butt.

 

See, I have a muscle deep down in the middle of my butt that flares up and gets really mad at me sometimes (must get its hot temper from me….sorry RiteAid photo lab lady!) But, I’ve got a way to help get my booty feeling back to normal. It’s called foam rolling.

 

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Don’t know what a foam roller is? It’s the long, skinny foam cylinder in the corner of the gym. The one that you see ladies getting really up-close-and personal with on the floor.

 

These little guys come in a million different colors, lengths and stiffness. But they all do one thing – help massage and loosen up those tight muscles.

 

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This is my foam roller.

 

Y’all already know how much I depend on massages to keep my body limber and muscles in top competition form (check out this article on Finding A Good Massage Therapist.) But, I can’t always get to a massage therapist, and, heck, those massages can add up in price. So, in between my massages, I depend on my foam roller to get the job done.

 

Now, you can massage literally any muscle you can think of with this little guy. But I usually focus on my butt, back and hamstrings. If you want a good article on exactly how to foam roll some frequently sore areas, check out this website.

 

My tips on foam rolling are pretty simple:

#1) Just Do It: Really, start doing this now. And this can be if you’re a runner, cyclist, weight lifter or mom that carries in the groceries. Order a foam roller (mine was a cheap one from Amazon) and start rolling today. You know that feeling your muscles have when you leave the massage therapist’s room? You’ll get the same feeling from a foam roller (well, the watered down version of that and without the lavender aromatherapy.)

 

#2) Get A Stiff Foam Roller: When you’re lifting heavy, your muscles are sore and need some serious massaging. So, don’t get a really squishy foam roller, trust me, it’s not going to massage your muscles like you want it to. Get one that is hard to squeeze. I especially like the ones that are less foam and more like PVC pipe. If you do opt for a foam one, here’s a tip: usually the stiffest ones are black.Here’s a  Link to a good one on Amazon.

 

#3) Do It A Lot: Add foam rolling into your everyday routine. The more you keep your muscles limber, the better off they’ll perform. Set it beside your bed or desk and make it part of your routine. Do it on your lunch break for a little Afternoon Delight for your muscles or roll on the floor while you watch “The Real Housewives” on TV (why do I love those shows?) And, don’t be scared to foam roll multiple times a day – I certainly do.

 

#4) Grab A Tennis Ball: Now, for that spot that is deep, deep down in my booty and continually gives me problems, a foam roller just can’t reach it. So, I grab a tennis ball. Using a tennis ball as a roller will allow you to put more pressure on a centralized location and get deeper into the muscle. It’s not comfortable, but it certainly does the job.

 

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Once you foam roll a super sore muscle, you’ll get this little joke

 

So, go pick up a foam roller and incorporate it into your daily routine. You’ll notice a difference in how your muscles feel and how you perform.

 

And in case you need a little background foam rolling music, here ya go. Go ahead and click it, you know you want to sing along…..

 

 

Roll On!

 

 

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