Rolling with my Foamies
A foam roller is a dense cylinder used to help massage tight and sore muscles. It’s the perfect tool to use daily, in between massage treatments to help keep our muscles supple and moving well.
- Improves mobility
- Enhances circulation
- Helps speed post-workout recovery
- Feels relaxing and restorative
- Adjust the pressure as you need to – rolling might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, but should not be painful
- Stay on the meat of the muscle, avoid rolling past joints like knees and hip bones
- Skirt the perimeter of painful areas to bring relief, instead of resting on them for extended periods
- Don’t overdo it – you don’t want to bruise yourself!
Where to buy and what to look for:
Most sports stores carry foam rollers. You can also find them at Winner’s from time to time. Look for dense foam – not the pool noodle type with visible bubbles in it. These EVA dense foam rollers last longer and don’t mis-shape like the other options. I find rollers 18 inches or longer most versatile.
My foam roller is an indispensible tool in my toolbox, and I use it daily. My favourite three areas to roll, shared here, are Quadriceps, Hamstrings and Upper Back.
Quadricep Roll: Lie facedown on elbows, with the fronts of both upper legs (quadriceps) resting on the roller. Roll slowly back and forth to release tension in theses muscles. If you discover a really sore area, focus on rolling around the perimeter of the area, as opposed to resting directly on it. Experiment with turning your feet in and out to uncover different areas of to apply pressure and release. Do not roll past the knee or the hip – remain in the meat of the muscle.
Hamstring Roll: Sit with hands on the ground (or on yoga blocks) and the backs of the upper legs (hamstrings) on the foam roller. Roll slowly forward and back to release these muscles.
Upper Back Roll: With bent knees and feet on the floor, rest your upper back on the roller. Support your head with your hands. Roll up and down to massage the back – this one feels so relaxing after a long day!
I can’t think of a better song to foam roll to.