Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Foam Rolling 101

Thanks for all your encouraging words from my last two runs!! I really do have the best friends, family and blogging community.

If I had a dollar for every person who asked me to post about my foam rolling workshop, I would have enough money to buy a whole lot of Yogurtland gift cards. :) So here is my review of the workshop from last week...

When I saw that there would be a free Foam Rolling Workshop at the rec center I go to, I immediately signed up and purchased a roller. I have known for a while now that most (if not all) serious runners I know use a foam roller and I wanted to know how it works.

Lucky for everyone else (if you want to stop by the Pleasant Grove Rec Center), Jackie is doing another 90 minute workshop this Saturday. If you don't live nearby, or just want to save 90 minutes and get my Clif Notes, here they are:

WHY Foam Roll?
It stretches the muscles using Self Myofascial Release (SMR), which is kind of like doing yoga or getting a massage, where soft tissue is broken down and it increases circulation/blood flow to your body.

HOW does it work?
Using your own body weight, pressure against the foam breaks down soft tissue adhesions... MEANING you (slowly) roll a body part along the roller until you find a tender spot. Then you hold there for 10-20 seconds, until it "melts" away, or is at least feels a little better.

WHEN should I do it?
Before and after a workout (I am terrible doing it before, but usually do it for awhile afterwards), the latter to work out the lactic acid out of your muscles to speed recovery and lessen next day soreness. It is common to feel discomfort when you roll but STOP if you feel any pain! 

Remember my sore knees? Well, after my 10 miler on Saturday and even my 10k yesterday, I foam rolled everything that felt sore and felt AMAZING afterwards! I am hooked.

Some Tips from Jackie:
Breathing: "Yoga breath" (slow, deep breaths and pushing that breath into the muscles)
Water: Drink a lot of water to flush out toxins (just like you would for Yoga or a massage)
SLOW: you are supposed to have each "roll" last for 20-30 seconds. the main reason why a lot of people don't see any results from using their roller is because they don't go slowly. I usually sit in front of the TV (okay, in front of Baby D while he is pelting me with golf balls) and try not to rush it.
Core: Keep your abs tight the whole time (oh and don't let your kids play with the foam roller... "once its dented, you have to get a new one" whoops.)

Here are a few (terribly sweaty, post 10k race) pics of my favorite stretches/rolls... during that 90 minute class, Jackie basically went over the basics I just mentioned and had us foam roll every part of our body! It was great because it helped me realize what parts of my body are very sore, and those are the ones I stretch every time, even for just a few minutes. 

My all time favorite: IT band stretch. I start at the hip and slowly roll down to just above the knee, then roll back. I am ALWAYS tight on my outer thighs!
 The calf stretch: Start at the ankles and roll up to just below the knee. I would have NEVER in a million years guessed I am so tight and needed stretching in my calves but I do! I am doing the "advanced" version, you can also do it without the top leg putting pressure on your lower leg. And just by shifting your leg to a slight angle to the right or left you get a whole new stretch!
I usually do the same thing to my hamstrings, starting right under my bum and working my way to right above the knee.
 Pardon that creepy face, but this was one I couldn't believe I needed, for my Adductors (inner thighs). I went from just above my knee and rolled into... well, as Jackie called it, "this is your 'get intimate with your roller' position." All those inner/outer thigh workouts with POJO pilates really made my legs tight all over, so this stretch is wonderful.
 This last one, the Piriformis stretch, should be done with crossing the same foot to the opposite knee to increase pressure and enhance the stretch, but I still think it feels just as good like this! My lower back always KILLS me post-workout, and this helps to pull those muscles apart in a good way.
 So that's it! Foam Rolling 101. There's tons of info online, like here, but honestly those 5 exercises are all I ever use. I am usually pretty good about stretching out my arms and back so I don't really use the roller for any of that.

In non foam roller related news... post-10k I was craving some puffed pancake. I may or may not have eaten 2/3 of the pan. But of course when Baby D makes this face, you know you really have to share...
 and... HUGE NEWS!!!! Remember how my darling child NEVER puts ANYTHING in his mouth??? Well, we were helping out in Nursery on Sunday and someone gave him an animal cracker, which I expected him to throw on the ground as is his style. But he put it right in his mouth and ATE IT!!!

My baby boy has only taken 10 months to learn how to hold his own bottle and feed himself!
He is a master at climbing up and down the stairs and has become a total chatterbox.
:) I am SO SO proud.
Four days, my love!


Julia said...

Ruth! This post is awesome! I love that IT band stretch as well...it feels SO good! Thanks so much for sharing the tips...I am definitely going to start trying these and also trying to foam roll on a more regular basis. I am usually pretty good at putting it off but it feels SO good when I actually do it! haha!

That pancake looks super yummy!!!

Congrats again on an awesome 10k! you rocked it!

Have Your Way said...

Ahh so glad he finally ate an animal cracker!

I need to find a foam roller thingy but i would of course need that thing called money before i can get one :/

yay for yummy food!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Thank you so much for sharing the info you learned about foam rolling!! I really really need to work on using the foam roller more. I am one of those people that went out and bought one because everyone else was and it instantly became a nice little decoration in my junk room. ha! I can't wait to bust it out now that you have shared you secrets.

Love the pictures of baby D as always! Have a fabulous week and now I gotta catch up on your 10k post! :)

Lindsey said...

What a fun blog! I look forward to following. :) What a cute lil guy!

Missy said...

You are super cute! Thanks for the tips of foam rolling, I recently purchased one and my muscles feel wonderful afterwards.

Lisa Staples said...

I NEED TO PURCHASE ONE OF THOSE!! I've been procrastinating :/ Great post, thanks for sharing your knowledge :)

anna. said...

he's so big! i think i might get a roller now too. miss youuu. xxooxx.

sarah said...

naturally, now i feel needing to buy a foam roller myself! where to buy them?? that's the one thing you didn't mention! love the pics.. especially the creepy one (; hahaha. ps recipe for your puffy pancakes, please?? AND SO PROUD OF BABY D!! he is an inspiration to us all. truly. he's growing so fast!! slash lastly.. four days until what??

Haley @ Climb Run Lift Mom said...

Good info! Thanks for sharing :)

Sky said...

I seriously fall off of those, but am trying my hardest to use them. Foam rolling is fantastic, especially for runners. Love the tutorial, now if you could use your magic wand and send me some grace, that would be fab, thanks.

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