Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

   January 20, 2011 8:55 am

 

After about a dozen people, including my own dear running friend & chiropractor, Dr. Dan Young, recommended I get a foam roller to deal with my piriformis issues, I finally ordered one online a couple weeks ago.

Foam rollers are used by runners to work out muscle knots. Knots will kill you (OK, not literally, but they’ll ruin your form which an lead to other injuries because your body compensates for the poor form by overusing other muscles, etc.). Knots are typically a problem experienced by long-time runners rather than beginners who are have more common overuse injuries like shin splints and runner’s knee.

Read more about muscle knots and how stretching alone won’t help them here. “The knot remains a knot, laughing in the face of the stretch.”

I read some reviews about what to buy and which size would be best for me & I opted for this one which came with an instructional DVD.

This morning, I finally got around to actually watching the DVD and using the roller and I loved it.

I can definitely see how this overgrown pool noodle can help work the knots and kinks out of a runner’s muscles.

And, folks, it’s just feels really, really good — everywhere.

The DVD showed me how to use it to massage everything from shins to calves to the back (feels great!) to the glutes (oh…it hurts sooooo good for that piriformis!). You can even use it to massage your lats and triceps (though, I, personally, found those exercises to be kind of awkward and uncomfortable).

I might have done better with a thinner roller (if there are any) as some of the exercises that involve holding myself up with my arms behind me can be tough with my short arms.

If you buy a foam roller that does not come with an instructional video or if you want to learn new ways to use the one you have, you can find all kinds of demonstration videos on youtube.com.

This stretch/exercise was my favorite. I’ll be doing this one regularly:

 

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