Keep Rollin’

After going for a decent run last night (the night runs HAVE to stop now that it is dark by 6:30, or I have to come up with some sort of reflective wear), I got myself downstairs and finally used the foam roller I bought a couple of weeks ago. My left hip is tight and achy all the time, and I know it is ITB related, and I believe my ITB problems are directly related to my super-tight hamstrings.

So I popped in the 25 minute DVD workout that came with the roller. The exercises start from your head and work down to your knees. I had real problems with my hair getting rolled under the roller and having it in a ponytail at my neck made the neck exercises almost impossible. I will try a braid next time.

The shoulder and back exercises were easiest for me and felt the most effective, probably because I don’t have any injuries there and am fairly strong. The balance exercises were the only ones I could not complete. Zero balance — that’s me. The most difficult exercises for me were the IT band ones, partly because your upper body has to support much of your body weight, and partly because it was surprisingly painful. Like a real sports massage, it was a mix of ouchie pain and good pain. The area is injured so it doesn’t surprise me.

As I get stronger and learn better control of the roller, I think this will get easier and I will get better at the exercises, which I think will make it effective. I can see exactly why this is gaining popularity. I felt immediate results, distinctly more loose feeling, not quite as good as after a real massage, but good. I have some very minor soreness today in my glutes and hamstrings, but nothing bad. The only “hurt” I have is a single vertebrae between my shoulder blades feels bruised. Lying on the roller with it aligned along my spine put that particular bone under a lot of pressure. Not sure how to prevent that next time.

This was a good article I found for reading more information about foam rollers.

Today is a rest day and tomorrow I will run the 3.5 mile Belle Isle run at lunch.

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