Don’t Be Scared of the Foam Roller!

Yes, it will cause you pain and your family or dog may become alarmed by the loud moans and groans and suffering sounds that burst forth while using it, but you’ll feel better and you’ll go back for more ! You may stare at it and ask “What the heck do I DO with it?” when you first buy it. You may ask if it’s worth $20 or $30 or more bucks for a foam cylinder, with or without dirt bike style knobbies. I am here to assure you that when used properly and regularly, you will grow to love your torture device. It seems awkward and silly at first and you may not want anyone to witness the first time you get down on the floor and roll around on it, unless you enjoy it when people laugh at you. That may be part of the therapy for some people. But for others, it will be relaxing and useful to shut the door and get acquainted with your foam roller in private. Am I right, foam roller experts?

My son was having some back pain and he asked me how to use my foam roller . I demonstrated the technique and then he tried it and we both ended up laughing! It takes a little while to figure out how to position your body to get the actual benefits. But he did say that his back felt like it had been unlocked after a few tries to roll it out, so yeah, it’s worth it.

My son helped me make this video https://youtu.be/YqRigwrFHis. I’m a bit camera shy, but I will suffer for you and share the video so you can see my technique. This morning my hip was really hurting after yesterday’s 11 miler so I used it to really dig in to my hip. I felt so much better on that side that I noticed the other side was tight as well, so I worked on it, too.

Here is a professional video by an actual medical professional. He also mentions some of the benefits.

4 Foam Roller Exercises

Why should I consider foam rolling? Do you want to feel good? Foam rolling is like getting a massage and offers the  same benefits for much less money and in the comfort of your own home. It helps break up and relax knots and tight muscles and fascia as well as popping your bones back into place and helping you feel more relaxed thanks to all that. I’m not a physical therapist, I just know what works for me and thousands of other athletes. But you don’t need to be a runner or athlete to benefit.  Foam rolling is for everyone. Even just sitting in a chair too long can make you sore and tight.

Caution: If you have any injuries or disabilities or other problems that limit your mobility, please use your foam roller when someone else is with you in case you need help getting up and down off the floor. You can’t really hurt yourself with a foam tube, but if you are very inflexible or weak, you could just hurt yourself getting down and up. It is worth the effort, so don’t be afraid to try it if you think you can do it safely. There are tons of videos on YouTube about foam rolling if you want more specifics.

Disclaimer: As I said, I am not a medical professional of any kind, even though I have a lot of knowledge and experience from taking care of my own health, so use this information as your own risk. 

 

 

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