I am in a love/hate relationship… with my foam roller. Do you use one? Because you should.
Foam rolling is kind of like giving yourself a massage. You use a big soft but dense cylindrical object to ‘roll’ out your tight muscles like the IT Band, hamstrings, quads and calves. There are tons of benefits to it, but there are also a lot of drawbacks. So I compiled a pros and cons list explaining my relationship with the foam roller.
Pro: It stretches out my tight muscles, especially my IT band. In the past, I have had knee pain that stemmed from tight hips.
Con: It HURTS. A lot.
Pro: It helps prevent my past injuries from returning by keeping my muscles loose and helping them recover after long runs.
Con: After a long run I think, “Haven’t I tortured myself enough today?!!?!”
Pro: I am proud of myself after I foam roll since I know it’s good for me. It’s like taking a vitamin.
Con: I think the neighbors might call 9-1-1 when they hear my screams mid-roll.
Pro: Ahhhhh! There is nothing like the satisfaction of rolling out a tight muscle and feeling it relax after.
Con: …. okay, I’ll admit the pain of foam rolling is better than the pain of an injury. So I think we’ll stay together for as long as I’m doing long distance running. It’s for the best.
You win this round foam roller!
Do you foam roll?