I remember when foam rollers first started becoming popular (at least that I knew) and showing up in my gym. I had no idea what you would use it for or why, and so I would just ignore them and continue about my business. While that is no longer the case (nor has it been for quite some time) and I understand (and feel) the benefits when I use it, it’s one of those things that I still often ignore or overlook, prioritizing my post workout shower or an extra minute to sit on my butt until I forget all about it.
Hey, at least I’m being honest!
With all of that said, I’m trying to get better and since I took my Saturday as a (mostly) rest day due to super tight and painful muscles, I knew it was time to get back into the habit and routine of using my foam roller. Sure, I could give the excuse that it would be easier if my fitness center had a foam roller so I could just use it while I’m there, and how I forget once I get home from my workout, and as true as both of those things may be on some level, on another, they’re just complete excuses and I need to move past them.
Today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite foam rolling exercises as a way to motivate not only myself, but also hopefully you too, to stop making excuses and utilize the foam roller to really give your muscles the care they deserve (especially because let’s be real, we can’t all afford regular massage therapy).
I remember whining to one of my chiropractors about my tight hamstrings and how as much as I felt like I was rolling and stretching, they just weren’t easing up. Then he asked me if I was foam rolling my quads as well, reminding me that not only is everything connected, and muscles work together and therefore, I need to give them all the love and care they need. Oftentimes, I prefer to use my roller stick on my quads as it really allows me to work in the pressure where it’s needed most.
As a runner, I’m sure this seems like an obvious favorite of mine, and honestly, it’s a pretty painful beast but when I stay consistent with working out those tights muscles, not only do my legs feel better, but my knees do as well!
I’ll warn you now, if you have never done this, it will not feel good the first few times, but I assure you this is another hurt so good movement that you will thank yourself for later!
Upper Back & Shoulders
I always find this to be the closest thing to a massage for myself, especially since my traps are always so tight and likely a big cause for my tension migraines.
For real, if you have never used a foam roller after leg day, friends, make sure you do! Sure, it doesn’t always feel so good, but it sure will make walking and lowering/lifting yourself from a certain porcelain thrown a heck of a lot easier.
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Are you a big foam roller fan?
What is your favorite muscle to roll?
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