Rolling can be a valued part of a runner’s warmup and cool down. It improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterward.
This inexpensive and versatile piece of equipment used in the right way is similar to giving yourself a deep tissue massage.
Some Benefits of Rolling
- Preps muscles for stretching & running
- Corrects muscle imbalances
- Breaks down knots
- Improves joint range of motion
- Increases blood flow
- Releases muscle tightness and joint stress
- Speeds up recovery after a workout
My favorite way to use the roller is for self-Myofascial Release for my IT Band (Iliotibical Band), hip flexer and Quads.
When I was training for a half marathon I began to have horrible knee pain, which lead to having to go to physical therapy for 3 months. At physical therapy three years ago I discovered the foam roller, and my workout life has been changed forever!
It is best to roll back and forth until you find a tender (or extremely painful) area. Hold the pose there for about 45 seconds before rolling back and forth again. This intensifies your self-Myofascail release stretch.
Additional information about the Myofascial Release from Sports Medicine:
“The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.
Myofascial release from rolling has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome and shin splints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion.”
Rolling is used in professional training programs across the board.
Besides stretching, you can use the roller to help intensify your plank, put under your feet for deeper push ups, strengthen your core, and help stretch through yoga poses.
You can buy a roller at any athletic store or Target.