I have been told countless times by many people that I should foam roll. There is a huge list of things I would rather do than get on the floor with a foam roller. The reason I find it so hard to get on board is because of the discomfort. I know that foam rolling is extremely good for me but the pain of doing it never seemed worth it to me. After hearing about the benefits over and over and dealing with the struggle of sore muscles I decided to give it a shot for a month.
I had listened to a podcast where they had Lauren Roxburgh on and she was explaining the program she had developed and the easy to follow video downloads she offered. I decided this would be a great way to get into it, with guidance. I bought a few of her videos, at a very reasonable price and ordered one of the long rollers off Amazon (relatively inexpensive). There are also tons of videos on you tube on foam rolling.
My roller arrived and I decided why wait and I got started. I downloaded her total body calming video and got down on my floor. The video was 20 minutes long and it was very easy to follow. She didn’t instruct you to stay in one spot for a super long time, which I liked. I felt the moving around the body made the pain of each area less. I hit practically every area possible with the roller and felt pretty good after I was finished.
As tough as it was, I stuck with this for the month. I didn’t watch the videos every day, I had picked up on different techniques and would just move around my body where I felt it was needed. Since I run, do yoga and Pilates, my hamstrings, glutes, hips and quads are extremely tight. These areas I would focus on most and found to be the most difficult. There is something about the way the roller hits these sensitive areas that causes me to break out into a sweat.
I admit that some days I wouldn’t do it as long as I should have, I would find other “more important” things I needed to do. It was after week two that I really started to notice a difference. It wasn’t necessarily a difference in the soreness of my muscles at first rather I felt a difference in my running. My legs felt like they were more open at the beginning of my runs, it didn’t take as long to get into my groove. After a little more time with the roller, I found my recovery time from intense exercises was much less. I would do a tough stair workout, roll out that night and the next morning my level of soreness would be much less than it had been after similar workouts before rolling.
Any improvement in running and feeling less sore are the best reasons I can think of to continue to foam roll. I will say I am not as dedicated to it as I was when I first started, and my body feels that. One of my 2018 intentions is more self-care and consistent foam rolling is at the top of that list. For anyone who works out, who pushes their bodies I would say foam rolling should be added to your routine. I know it sucks and I know it is a hard thing to get into but it is worth it. Foam rolling is a little bit of pain for a whole lot of gain and your body will thank you.