It has literally taken me YEARS to fully appreciate and understand the importance of the self-inflected pain that is known as foam rolling. I have been intensely working out for the last 4 years, and never got into this masochist form of stretching until recently.
I mean, let’s be honest, the shit sucks! It hurts real bad and it’s boring. It was something I just never saved time for at the end or beginning of my workouts. I always told myself I would “just do it when I got home.” LIES. I never did.
It wasn’t until after my most recent back surgery that I broke down and purchased a foam roller and learned how to use it. And lemme tell ya, it has definitely helped me kick way more ass during my workouts!
Let me take a minute and get a lil sciencey and technical with ya:Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for foam rolling. It’s basically just giving yourself an intense massage. (But like, way cheaper) The act of foam rolling releases muscle tightness or trigger points. It also increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility, helping with recovery and improving performance for future workouts.
So what does that mean to the average gymrat or cardio bunny? Well, it means faster recovery time, and a decreased chance of injury. Which in turn leads to FASTER GAINS! You will be able to workout harder, and more frequently, which leads to faster results. Who doesn’t want to reach their fitness goals faster?! No one, that’s who. So do yourself a favor, and get a foam roller and start ASAP.
Now remember, it is going to hurt like hell. But that’s how you know you’re finding the tight muscles and helping them release tension. And if you’ve had any surgeries or injuries that have allowed scar tissue to build up, then it helps to release that. Which for me, is a HUGE deal. So, get yourself a foam roller, light some candles and play some chill music to help you get in the zone for some major ouch. Personally, when I set the mood it helps me to zone out on the pain.
Clink on the link below to give you some basic ideas on how to use your new foam roller. Embrace the suck, it will be worth it. I promise. Foam Rolling Techniques
Another thing I really enjoy using to inflict pain is a lacrosse ball. It also hurts like hell, but is absolutely amazing at working out tight muscles in a more targeted area. I use lacrosse balls on my glutes at least 3x a week to release lower back pain. I have never found anything so amazing at making me feel 100% times better when my back is aching after a workout. I HIGHLY recommend you try it to.
Here are a few product sites to get you started on where to purchase these torture devices.