So I got a new foam roller this weekend! Using it inspired me to write out my favorite foam rolling techniques and what injuries they *could help treat/prevent.
1) Calf rolling! When you first try this, you’ll want to roll both calves at the same time, but once you get used to it, you can do single calf like I am in this picture. This helps loosen up your calves and prevents or treats shin splints.
2) Quad rolling. Again, you can do with both legs at a time, or you can lift one leg up to isolate the opposite quad. Rest your upper body on your elbows, and roll in and out like you’re doing an abdominal workout! Rolling your quads helps prevent anterior knee pain and patellar tendonitis. Also, tight quads are often associated with tight IT bands.3) Hamstring rolling. Tight hamstrings can cause medial knee pain or tendonitis, so rolling them will help relieve that.
4) IT band rolling. This is the most common, so I’m sure you are familiar with it. The key is to only use one hand for support, and to have both legs off the ground. This way, most of your body weight is pressing on the part of the IT band you are rolling. This obviously helps prevent IT band tightness/pain.
5) Back rolling. I do this usually to ease tightness, but it can also sometimes help if I have vertebrae that are rotated. Just roll back and forth over your lumbar and thoracic regions (you don’t want to go up to the neck because that would be pretty painful).Just some quick tips on foam rolling technique…. When you foam roll, you don’t want to just roll over tight/painful areas quickly. It’s best to use the foam roller as a tool to identify the tight/painful area, then rest on that tight area for several seconds to help calm down the restriction. Then roll further until you locate the next tight area. If you just roll back and forth over tight muscles, the muscles will just become more aggravated and possibly get tighter. Also, you typically want to be warm when rolling, so do this after your warm up, or after you’ve finished your workout. If you don’t have a foam roller and are wondering the best type to buy, try sticking to ones that are closed-cell foam or harder. Open cell foam will be too squishy and won’t accomplish your desired effect. Happy rolling!
Oh, and today is the last day to enter my Pottery giveaway! I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow. Good luck!