It’s foam roller clinic season and here are a few pointers we like to throw out to participants to answer some FAQ’s….
1) If you are pressed for time, foam rolling post-activity is a more economical use of your time. 10 minutes to roll glutes, hamstrings, quads and low back are usually a great and semi-easy routine to commit to.
2) DO NOT waste your time rolling your IT bands. The muscle that regulates the tightness of your IT band is actually between the ASIS (top bump on your pelvis) and the greater trochanter (head of your hip), it’s name is the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) A more efficient use of your time and energy is to get a lacrosse ball, stand near a wall and put the ball on the wall at the correct height for the TFL and lean your leg/hip/TFL into the ball–with your weight off the leg being worked. We have a video here on the the website showing how to do this…or check out our YouTube channel.
Here’s the link to our channel & video:
3) Foam rollers are not all created the same. The white foam (in our estimation) can break down and become too squishy very quickly. Which negates their effectiveness. They are great for beginners who are new to rolling, but be aware you will need to graduate to the more firm rollers about 3-4 months after purchasing.
Our fave rollers are the 36-inch, black polystyrene rollers. Fave retailer is Amazon, here’s the link:
Here’s why. The black rollers are made of a firmer/dense foam roller that lasts quite a long time, even with dedicated usage. The size that we chose is due to the fact that you can do more things with the longer version. Our favorite move that demonstrates this best is, when lying with the foam roller parallel to the spine, with one end resting where your skull and spine meet (occipital ridge) and the other end resting at your sacrum (base of the spine) A very small movement (2-3 inches) back and forth (left to right) to each side of the spine is the most awesome feeling and release after a long day on your feet, after a run, long drive, etc. We like to stretch our arms out to each side to stabilize ourselves and open the chest a bit. Throw in some deep breaths and stay here for as long as you like, but at least 2 minutes to give the muscles a chance to “let go.” Try it and let us know what you think next time you are in.