Foam Rolling: Hurts so Good
Just like “running is cheaper than therapy,” a foam roller is cheaper than a deep tissue massage and provides comparable benefits! Your gym will most likely have foam rollers of all different sizes. I just ordered one from amazon so I can roll at my own convenience at home =) I’m sure all the athletes have worked with these, but those who haven’t should give it a try.
Use: To increase flexibility, prevent injury, massage tight muscles
Technique: There are many ways to use a foam roller. My favorite (and most painful) way is to use it to stretch out my IT bands as I am doing in the picture. Use your body weight as pressure. Slowing roll side of leg, quads, or hamstrings over the foam roller and hold at any trigger points (particularly painful locations). At these trigger points, you really want to roll slowly and work out the tension. There are good example pictures here: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/flexibilityandstretching/ss/FoamRoller.htm
Benefits: relieves muscle and join pains, breaks down scar tissue which limits our range of motion, stretches muscles, improves recovery rate of muscles, feels great afterwards!
So remember…Run, Roll, Stretch!