Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My love affair with the roller....

I love my foam roller. I love my foam roller so much, I invested in the high density foam roller that feels like you are lying on concrete. I can feel the knots as I lay on my IT band. If I haven't rolled in awhile and have been hitting my workouts hard, the pain is like no other.... but man oh man, do I feel awesome afterward.
Anyone who has ever used a foam roller knows the exact pain I am talking about. They also know how much better you feel after 15 or 20 minutes of pressure. The connective tissue feels smoother, there is less tension on the joints, you move smoother. I know I need to get on the roller when I feel pain in my left knee, my hip flexors feel like they are in knots or my butt is sore from running stairs. I even woke up the other night to roll b/c my hip flexors were bothering me!

So I take my 36 inch black roller into the gym the other day and started to roll my IT bands before my workout when my good friend comes up to me and asked what I was doing. This guy is fresh out of the service and works out like a 22 year old guy does: he hits the weights heavy and does minimal stretching. Heck, we all are a little guilty of that once in awhile!
I explain, I demonstrate and I invite him to roll! He laid down on that sucker and the facial expression about killed me! He shrieked in pain and looked at me like I was crazy! I told him the golden rules about rolling and the two biggest mistakes:

1. You have got to go slow. Too many people roll too fast and miss out on the benefits.
2. You have got to apply as much pressure as possible. Lying on a roller takes coordination and total body balance so position yourself so the most bodyweight is applied to pressure point.

He jumped off the roller and laughed saying I was crazy but it wasn't long before he was back on the roller for the ultimate pain threshold challenge and because it made him feel better. How? The pressure helps break up adhesions in the fascia. It's complicated but it works. And it feels great.
So that's how I roll.