The dreaded foam roller. If you’ve used it before, you know what I mean by dreaded. All those tight spots on your legs that stretching never seems to reach, the foam roller will definitely reach them for you.
Conversely, for the previously mentioned reason, it could be thought of as the miraculous foam roller, as it really is one of the few mechanisms around that make way for a complete stretch and recovery of your muscles.
I came by the foam roller for the first time when I was training for FSU cheerleading tryouts (spoiler alert: I didn’t make the team). I was not very flexible (some things never change) and have been diagnosed with ITB syndrome, and my coaches would use the foam roller on my hamstrings before and after stunting sessions. After tryouts ended, I could think of no reason to use one of those things again, and I didn’t see one for years.
When I began running, I was constantly experiencing the typical injuries and pains that plague beginner runners. Everything I read and everyone I spoke to suggested the foam roller.
The foam roller can be used both pre- and post-workout. It helps to break down knots in your muscles that limit your range of motion, which allow for a better pre-run stretch. After your workout or run, using a foam roller will help to promote flexibility and flush out toxins to help in recovery.
I hope you give foam-rolling a try because it will really make big changes in terms of your flexibility and ability to recover from workouts and injuries.
Check out this Runner’s World article with video tutorials on foam-rolling techniques!