Foam rolling has been a lifesaver lately. If you have been following along with our podcast you would know that I am not a lover of running. In fact, the only time I am running is when I have to chase after my kids to get them to take a shower! Recently I committed to running on the Baker to Vegas Team and for someone who isn't used to running more than a block it is a big deal. With any change, your body needs time to adapt to a new routine. During that time your body can start feeling sore in areas you didn't even know existed & I was no exception to this rule! I could barely walk and that was after just a 1-mile run!
I knew I needed to fix the way that I was preparing for my run. I needed to warm up before my run and start including stretching! In addition to stretching, I added in foam rolling. I was very familiar with what foam rolling was for but I never utilized it. Foam rolling is like your very own personal meat tenderizer for your muscles! Rolling helps improve your blood circulation, It hurts so good! I had so many knots in my quads and in my hamstrings. Once I started using this every other day, I have recovered that much quicker than when I did not utilize the roller.
"Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) stretching technique that has been embraced throughout the fitness industry. Using the foam roller can deliver improvements in flexibility, muscle recovery, movement efficiency, inhibiting overactive muscles, and pain reduction with just minutes of application."NASM
The general "rules" are simple
Once you start rolling, you may find that you need more pressure when rolling out your hamstrings, for example, in that case just roll one leg at a time. That technique can go for many of your lower body movements. Make your muscles happy by slowly going over those tender spots such as your IT band, calves, glutes, hamstrings, and adductors. Check with your doctor first before using the foam roller if you are diagnosed with any injuries.
Foam rollers come in all shapes, sizes, densities and price ranges. Here are a few that I found on Amazon. My favorite that could come in handy for police officers on duty, dispatchers, or even those that are currently in the academy are water bottle foam rollers, they are small enough to take with you anywhere and can use on your break! Double purpose water bottles, what could be better! Roll it out and let me know if it worked for you.
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