I <3 my foam roller!

Seriously tho…does any else foam roll? A foam roller is an amazing little tool that I have just started using over the past year.

foamroll

Some of you may be thinking…what is foam rolling?

It’s a form of stretching used by athletes or anyone needing relief from tight muscles. It’s technically referred to as self myofascial release, and it’s a little bit like giving yourself a deep tissue massage to release knots and ease tight areas.

Releasing tight muscles is essential, not only because you’ll feel awesome afterwards, but also because it helps prevent injuries, improves posture and increases range of motion.

How do you roll?

It’s best to foam roll after a workout when your muscles are warmed up. Place the roller behind soft tissue like your calves or thighs, avoiding joints, and slowly start rolling. When you find a tight spot, hold it for 30 – 60 seconds until it releases. It might feel a little uncomfortable or tender, but go at your own pace and follow your comfort level.

Some Tips from Tone it up:

  • Foam rolling is great for anyone, but it’s especially important if you’re active to help with muscle recovery, circulation and even performance. Tightness can occur from regular workouts – or even from sitting at the computer for long periods of time.
  • Always listen to your body! Foam rolling may hurt, but it should also feel good, like a deep tissue massage. Never force or continue to foam roll in an area where there’s sharp pain.
  • We love to foam roll a few times a week! Start with shorter sessions and work your way up to longer ones.
  • Remember to always stretch after foam rolling and just like with a massage, to drink PLENTY of water afterwards!

I used to run half marathons and a lot of 10k’s and 5k’s and always had really tight hip flexors and hips as well as my IT band. If you are unsure where you IT band is here is quick breakdown:

Your IT bands mediacal name is: The Iliotibial Band (ITB). It is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of your leg from your pelvis to your knee. Some of the buttock and hip muscles attach to it, and the ITB co-ordinates how these muscles work and stabilises the leg.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) is one of the leading causes of pain on the outer (lateral) side of the knee, which can radiate up the thigh.
Iliotibial Band Syndrome is when the ITB gets irritated and inflamed due to friction. This most commonly happens on the outer side of the knee. As the leg bends and straightens, the Iliotibial Band glides over a bony lump on the side of the knee that sticks out slightly, the lateral epicondyle.

Ok….so enough about the IT Band…this post is really about Foam Rolling!! So, here are some of the benefits, streches and types of foam rollers in a nifty little diagram I found:

foamroll2So, if you don’t have a foam roller I suggest you invest if you are a runner or active at all…it can dramatically increase your performance, decrease injury, and relieve tension!

If you are looking for a great foam rolling video I suggest this one by my favourite tone it up girls: http://toneitup.com/2014/09/frisky-fall-foam-roller/