I’m pretty sure everyone I know is sick of me asking them this. Any time someone complains to me about a sore muscle or a tight spot or really anything bothering them in life, my first question is, “Do you have a foam roller?” This is because the foam roller has changed my life.
Sorry, maybe that’s a bit dramatic.
But the foam roller is THE BEST THING EVER. We have this one, which we bought for about $50 at Sportsmans Warehouse. Obviously it’s cheaper online but we wanted one NOW.
Toby wanted one for p90x purposes. I wanted one for Michelle Bridges purposes. I didn’t get it in time for use it for Michelle, so I don’t know how she recommends using it. The p90x 2 program includes a workout called “Mobility and Recovery” which incorporates 20 minutes of foam rolling, so that’s what I started with to figure out what I was supposed to be doing.
Yes, 20 minutes. It seems way too long before you start, like how is this going to work. It’s basically 4 minutes per limb, then 4 minutes for the upper back. If you’re doing it right, the 20 minutes will fly by and you won’t want it to end.
You can find me rolling around several times a week now or at least on Tuesday nights because after a 10km run on the weekend then Body Balance on Monday I am often feeling super tight by Tuesday especially my ITB band (or just ITB, since the B stands for Band). That’s the one where you feel like you just need to stretch out your hips and glutes, but then NOTHING you do will stretch it. That’s your ITB band! That’s why you need a foam roller!
Also great for the tight shoulders and upper back that comes from lugging around 10 kilos of baby all day (although yesterday a massage therapist told me that’s actually my neck causing that niggling in my shoulders).
If you’re someone who doesn’t like massages or likes them but only the wussy oily ones at the beauty salon, the foam roller probably isn’t for you. I’ve heard it described as ‘brutal’. But if you’re always asking other people to rub your shoulders or find yourself massaging your own calves, you will probably love it. Gyms usually have a few floating around so give one a try if you’re not sure.
But seriously, get a foam roller.