As a runner, I often read and hear about the amazing wonders of the foam roller. I have heard that it cures aches, soreness, and pain. That it prevents injury and feels like a deep tissue massage. That it possesses magical powers which, when activated, can make you able to fly.
Okay maybe not that last one.
There are so many people who swear by the use of foam rollers, especially runners. My left knee has been hurting so, last week, I broke down and bought one in hopes that it might help.
(With a sale, Christmas gift card and coupon code, I paid $6.26 instead of the retail $40! Yay!)
It just arrived today, and is a 36″ High Density j/fit foam roller.
Browsing through Pinterest, there are a ton of different ways to use this hunk of medical-grade foam. Since I had no idea how to use this thing, I decided to try this guide I found. It covers hip flexors, IT band, hamstrings, glutes, calves, upper back, lats, and chest.
Most people look up how to use things; not many people look up how NOT to use things. I think that this is a very important step that is skipped often, especially when it comes to health! The only warning I really found was not to use it on your lower back. Putting pressure on your lower spine could cause injury* (which is exactly what I’m trying to avoid by foam rolling in the first place.) If you have come across any other warnings, please leave it in the comments below!
So I’ve got a few exercises to do, and know how not to use it. Time to get down and dirty.
OH. MY. WORD.
Whatever this thing is, it is NOT relaxing. I had read other people mentioning that it hurt, but seriously! Pain flared through me with every roll. I sounded like a dying elephant. I kid you not. So for those of you who are wanting to start foam rolling, be warned! It HURTS.
However, it’s been a little while since I’ve rolled now, and my whole body feels so much better. I didn’t even realize how tense I was before. So maybe the 10 minutes or so of pain was worth it.
I have a five mile run this afternoon. Here’s to hoping that my knee hurts less.
Do you foam roll? Answer in the comments below!
*I am not a doctor or anything medically related. This is based on research that I’ve done, and should not be consider a Professional’s opinion.