Sunday, January 30, 2011

Foam Roller. Best Purchase. Ever.

The Foam Roller shown to scale in front of the stairs.  I know, right?  That's it?
I don't know why I just now bought one of these.  Heaven for my IT Band!  Should have bought this a long time ago!  A friend had suggested it weeks ago and it took a very painful ITB to make me crawl to The Running Store and finally buy one.  If you have ITBS, you need one of these.

Honestly, I did not know what a Foam Roller was until today.  For some reason I imagined it to be more - complicated - for some reason.  When the store showed me to the Foam Roller pyramid display, I literally was like, "What?  That's it?"  Foam Rollers are these firm foam logs/cylinders that help get rid of muscle knots in your body. You get a choice of 6" rollers or 12" rollers.  Most runners use the 6" foam rollers so I went with that.  You basically use your body weight to apply pressure against the roller to ease tight muscles.  For ITBS, you have to lay on your injured side, position the foam roller under the injured thigh, while using your other leg for stability, and then roll the foam roller under the injured thigh.

If that didn't make sense, see the illustration of the lady below doing leg lifts below?  You are in that position with the foam roller under the side of your right thigh and you roll back and forth the length of your IT band.  For support, you don't have your left leg up like that.  You have it crossed over your right leg.  For more pressure, you stack your left leg on top of your extended right leg.  Did that make sense?  :)

Cool thing I learned too is that the foam roller is used for Pilates.  I would love to learn how to use it for other things.  I am slowly learning how to use it to loosen tight knots on my upper and lower back as well.  It's like getting a deep tissue massage and it feels really good!  I'm not expert on foam rolling, but just google it and you'll discover many ways of using it.

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