I wanted to provide some photos of the wondrous Foam Roller. I firmly believe everyone–especially Runners–should own one of these! I use it every single night. It takes less than 10 minutes to do all positions and I always feel better afterward.
What is a Foam Roller? It’s a dense foam that when used acts like a deep tissue massage. Using it on a regular basis can prevent common injuries from training and working out. If there’s a certain spot that is particularly sore or tight, roll over it slowly for about 10 seconds at a time and it will loosen up the tissue. How the Foam Roller works is that you use your body weight to apply pressure on the sore spots.
There are different densities you can purchase. The one I used at the gym was too soft for me. The one I use at home is very firm and dense. It’s recommended that if you are a muscular person, use a denser foam.
I know it’s a tad dark, but the foam roller is the black thing underneath me. Here’s the first position:
Working the Shins: great for fixing “Shin Splints”.
Working the Quads: great for runners AND cyclists. Michael does this one every night and he commutes by bike to work.
Roll back and forth as slowly as you can and really feel the Foam Roller working your muscles.
Next, work your calves. It takes some ab work and strength in your arms but do what you can and take a break if you need to.
Tight calves are another danger of cycling. Somehow I managed to make a ridiculous face in every one of these photos. Lame!
Next do your hamstrings:
The most BRUTAL of positions is working the IT Band. Ugh.
Finally, if you ever suffer from back pain, I’ve read on various websites that the Foam Roller can improve that as well. Fat Kitty decided to “help” with the Foam Rolling and strategically placed himself in almost every photo. ;)
Finally, I have a new stretch that I’ve been doing recently and it really helps my legs.
To read more about the Foam Roller, check out the Running Times Magazine article Here. I bought my Foam Roller off Amazon.com for about $15. It was the best $15 I ever spent.
QUESTION: Do you use a Foam Roller? How has it helped you? Also, do you have any recommendations on yoga poses for runners?