It Hurts So Good

“Foam Rolling is like crack. You don’t realize what you’re missing until you try it. Once you do, you don’t stop.”

- Harold Gibbons

This was part of Harold’s reply to my post yesterday and I couldn’t agree more! He nailed it.

Foam rolling is seriously addictive. I love it so much! So, I am really excited to be writing this post today Smile But what even got me more excited is that fact that all of you seem to be excited, too! I got a few replies, emails, and even texts on my readers’ excitement to learn more about foam rolling, so for that I thank you! I can’t wait to get you all started with foam rolling, too! Smile 

It was just over a year ago when I was introduced to foam rolling. My trainer, at the time, took me through a full body workout and ended our session with foam rolling. I had no idea what this thing was

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The thought of rolling myself around on a tube seemed pretty silly and made me feel kind of awkward, but I went with it. After the session my impression on foam rolling was definitely not what it is today. Today, I love it; I do it daily – almost. Last year, I thought it hurt, was awkward, and silly.

Oh, I was so wrong.

If you haven’t used a foam roller before, usually the first time you do it will feel the most “painful” or intense. But, it does get better.

So why foam roll?

The foam roller is used to massage muscles and tendons. Basically, it is like getting a deep tissue massage!

The foam roller is able to break down scar tissue.

Increases flexibility

Increases blood flow and circulation to soft tissues

The foam roller is able to perform myofascial release which is a technique that results in softening and lengthening of fascia.

Relieves joint pains

As you can see, there are many reasons as to why you should use a foam roller and I am sure you could even add a few more to my list! Personally, I use my foam roller before and after my workouts. I massage my muscles before my workouts to prepare them for the work that they are about to do and then again after my workout to massage them to prevent soreness. By doing so, I have seen so many changes in myself and fitness level. Since I began doing foam rolling exercises before my workouts, I found that I was more flexible and “ready” for my workout. Lunges are something I often feel uncomfortable doing, but I seem to go deeper in my lunge after I foam roll! I am also definitely less sore if I foam roll after my workouts, so I make sure to do so after each leg workout for sure and whenever I feel the need to. It’s really convenient that I have my own foam roller because I can just whip it out at home while I am watching TV (or waiting for my latest creation to finish baking in the oven) and perform a self massage Winking smile It’s quite wonderful Smile I am sure you would love a foam roller if you got your hands on one!
I was going to order one online, but while I was home for Christmas, my Mom and I went shopping and actually found one at a local fitness store! So, I would imagine that your hometown would also have a foam roller for you to purchase? Smile The one I purchased is different than some foam rollers than you have seen before. It is a Trigger Point Performance Therapy foam roller. The reason I say it may be different than others you have seen before is because of the “grid” it has. Each different grid represents a different part of a hand or hand movement. For an example, the square grids are used as a palm whereas the smallest grids are used as fingertips. Your foam roller definitely does not have to have these grids, this is just the one I chose to purchase Smile

So now that you know a little more about foam rolling and the benefits of using one, I will share some pictures of various exercises you can do and explain what each exercise is used for Smile

I usually start from the bottom up…

The exercise for the calve muscles

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It’s easy to make the exercises more intense, too. Simply cross one leg over the other for increased pressure.

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The exercise for massaging the hamstrings

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To get more of a stretch, reach for your toes

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Or like I said above, cross one leg over the other

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Now flip over and massage those quads!

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For increased intensity, massage one leg at a time

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Inner thigh exercise

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Glutes! (My personal favourite!)

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(It isn’t apparent in the picture, but try to lean to the side of your body with the foot that is off of the ground for a better glute stretch and massage)

IT band

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(This one will most likely be the most intense of all of the exercises, especially if it is your first time!)

I hope my pictures helped you out; I was hoping to do a VLOG, but just didn’t have the time. If you need clarification check out Naomi’s video or Sarah’s. Smile

I highly suggest trying foam rolling if you haven’t yet! It seems as though, everyone I know that foam rolls loves it and guarantees positive results, so give it a try! Smile Like I said before, you can do it daily (if you want), before your workouts,  and after your workouts. Personally, I spend more time on my muscles that are the most sore, so you can try that, too! Smile

Remember, I am not a CPT, I know what I know from my own research and experiences! Smile

Do you foam roll?
What is your favourite foam rolling technique/exercise?
After reading this post will you try foam rolling?

Lots of love,

Meg
xoxoxoxo

About Meg (A Dash of Meg)

Hello, my name is Meg. I am a 20-year-old passionate Foods & Nutrition student on my way to becoming a Registered Dietitian who loves food, cooking, fitness, seafood, and a nice cup of tea.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 43 Comments.

  1. miriamyounsi@gmail.com

    hey hun,

    foam rolling is so great! i also do it from time to time but i know i should really make it a routine :)
    when foam rolling after your workout, do you do it before or after stretching?
    thanks for the pictures, they are really helpful!

    love,
    miriam

  2. love foam rolling, but who cares about that look at those MUSCLES on you!!!

  3. This was soooo helpful! Thank you! I have got to get a foam roller asap!

  4. A foam roller is definitely a tool that most people should own in my opinion! I foam roll after every training session — mostly focusing on my hip flexors, hip external rotators (glute medius, etc), and IT bands. If there is a day when I don’t foam roll, I definitely pay for it!! I think many of the problems that people have when working out come from imbalances, and myofascial release can help these imbalances so much. The inner thigh rolling though, always gets me a few strange looks from others in the gym, it’s a slightly awkward position :)

  5. i’ve been thinking about getting one. that exact one actually. it’s been in my amazon cart for weeks now!!!

  6. I looooove foam rolling! When I first started weight lifting, I was still dancing five days a week so my muscles were incredibly loose anyway from stretching them out that the foam roller didn’t too much. But as I started working a desk job and developing more tightness I have come to love it!! I usually use the roller three times a week, after I workout. I don’t do it before I workout simply because I’m already pretty limber haha. I would do it more often but I’m always in a hurry to get to work after my training session! And I would buy one to have at home but I haven’t found one for less than $90 here. Sucks big time.

    PS. Your arms look seriously jacked in these pictures!!

  7. i can’t tell you exactly how fabulous your arms have become! you would make an excellent yoga girl, in addition to model, as i commented about yesterday. x

  8. I want a foam roller! I’m thinking I need to invest in one since my legs are so sore today I can barely walk! Oh and I’m soo jealous of your arm muscles! Inspiration :)

  9. ilovefetacheese

    NICE MUSCLES PRETTY GIRL!! <3 I LOVE foam rolling

  10. LOVE foam rolling! :D I was too cheap to buy a real one though, so I cut up an old pool tube haha It works amazing though!
    Thanks for the picture tutorial girl! You’re lookin ripped! ;)

  11. Your arms look fantastic!! That’s it…Jamie Eason here I come!!:)

  12. I’ve never seen such TASTEFUL foam rolling pics. It’s hard to take classy ones…CUTE! :)

  13. I LOVE FOAM ROLLING!!!!!! I don’t have the grid one (I really want it though lol) but my roller definitely hurts sometimes haha. Especially the IT bands, you’re right, that’s the worst! I used to just use it after runs, but now I’ve been doing it beforehand too – definitely seeing an improvement!

  14. Foam rolling is awesome! I try to always do my IT Band before and after a run. I definitely notice a difference when I do. When I was home I only brought my stick and it just does not compare.

  15. I really really really wanna try foam rolling! I’ve heard good things about it everywhere but I haven’t had the time to go out and find a foam roller. I’ve tried emulating it with a rolling pin though and it was really good for my calves.

  16. Thank’s for the quote, Meg! Nice explanation. If you’re looking for some more painful and awesome ways to address tissue quality and mobiility issues, check out Kelly Starrett’s http://www.mobilitywod.com/

  17. Such a helpful post! Thanks hun! Want to have a tea date and go foam roller shopping with me next week? :D

  18. Thanks for sharing- the pictures help to explain them all too… I had no clue there were so many different ways to use a foam roller- I am new to using them and have just been using it for my glutes [no complaints, it feels great] and look forward to trying some new “rolls’ ;P

  19. Those pictures are very helpful. When i foam roll a muscle group the day after I work it out, it is the MOST painful/amazing thing ever. Hurts so good.

  20. This was so great! You’re so right, you can’t go back! Foam rolling has been one of the only things that has kept me injury free

  21. I don’t do foam rolling, but after this post I ll probably try it !
    Btw your shoulders are really ripped =)

  22. LOOVE FOAM ROLLING! i honestly don’t know what I would do without mine!!

  23. Congragulations on the move to self-hosted! I made the switch a while back, and I LOVE it. May I suggest the Thesis theme by DIY themes? It is incredible, a bit pricey, but really great. Congrats again! ;)

  24. foam rolling does hurt so good!! i had knee troubles last year when i was running a lot and it definitely helped (and hurt!) my IT band!!

  25. So funny, I just tried foam rolling for the first time a couple days ago. It felt great on my sore legs, especially the calves! :)

  26. I have a love/hate relationship with foam rolling! I need to do it more often, especially when I’m feeling DOMS (http://katieept.com/2012/01/16/doms/). I’ll try some of your exercises; I’ve never reached for my toes before! Thanks!

  1. Pingback: SMR, FTW « Harold Gibbons

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