As part of our RUN GIRL RUN Club, we’re hosting a plethora of move content that will hopefully keep your training in full force, and your motivation at an all time high. One thing we really wanted to talk about is how to use a foam roller. You’ve undoubtedly spotted this cylinder foam device in the stretching section of most gyms. But what does it do? And how do you use it? The Foam Roller is an essential tool to help you with your rest and recovery, and is highly beneficial for runners in training. Along with strength training, core work and dynamic stretching, the foam roller can target those trouble areas and release tension in the muscles.
So how do you use it?
Running can be extremely taxing on our bodies, especially if our running surface is less than desirable. Running day in, day out, on concrete paths can make our muscles tense and our bodies ache.
Foam rollers, when used correctly, can release this tension and tightness between the muscles and the fascia (which surrounds the muscle or group of muscles). This tension or tightness is usually caused by repetitive moving patterns – so obviously running, but also resistance training or other repetitive sports/actions. Foam rolling as well as dynamic stretching can help improve flexibility and range of movement, and decrease the risk of injury.
The point with foam rolling is to use your body weight – so if an area really hurts, go gentle on it and support some of your weight elsewhere, using your arms. You can add more “weight” as the muscle relaxes. In other words work to your own pain threshold!
So, if you’re feeling the effects of your workout regime, try out a foam roller to give your body that stretch it needs!
Position your left hip against the broad side of a roller on the floor. Cross your right leg over your left and put both hands on the ground for support. Using your left arm to assist, roll your thigh back and forth over the roller from just below your hip to above your knee. Switch legs.
Sit on the foam roller with one leg crossed over the other and roll back and forth a few inches each way.
Place your hands flat on the floor behind you for support. Lift your bottom off the floor, roll along the back of the leg from above the knee to just below the buttock.
Sit on the floor with the roller underneath your calves. Place your hands on the floor behind you, raise your butt off the floor and roll back and forth.
Lie face down with the roller positioned directly under your thighs. Bend your elbows so that your forearms are flat on the floor to support your weight. Use your arms to gently roll your body forward and back to move the roller up and down from your pelvic bone to just above your knees.
With your hands and knees on the floor, and the roller under your shins, position your hands just in front of your shoulders on the ground. Shift your weight forward, bringing your shoulders in front of your hands, to move the roller from your ankles to just below your knees.
Rest your back against the roller just underneath your shoulder blades. Bend your knees do your feet are flat on the floor. Lift your butt and place your hands behind your head, with your core on tight, slowly roll forward and back.
Grace Law is our resident Fitness expert and PT. Moving is just part of who Grace is; always keen to try something new things and somehow finding time to squeeze in her activities of choice including circus aerials, dance and running.
This girl’s insatiable energy is helping her clients reach their ultimate goals. When she isn’t busy squat jumping, Grace also opening admits to being a crazy cat lady and treasures the rare moments with her own tabby.
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