Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm a Foam Roller

I want to sing that title to the tune of "I'm a Wheel watcher"... silly me.  It's the end of a long week and I am trying to get back into the groove of normal after vacation.

Once upon a time, I trained to run a half marathon… and along the way I read some interesting advice about using a foam roller to help my leg and hip muscles recover after the longer runs during the training.

There were so many different kinds of rollers available, and I was quite confused about the whole issue, but did want to try it out, so I polled some of my running blogger friends and got lots of different responses.  I even wrote about them at the time. (Check it out, there is some good advice here.)  I found a great web site about Self-Myofascial Release and read it thoroughly.

And after all of that I chose to try some of the techniques on my legs and hips with a good old-fashioned rolling pin!  It was quite effective, I have to admit.

Rolling Pin

After my half marathon was over and I cut way back on the amount of running I am doing, I basically forgot all about rolling…  until I saw a contest on Facebook, by Suzanne Digre of Workout Nirvana, who was giving away a Rumble Roller. I jumped at the chance to have it… and was lucky enough to win it and have Suzanne send it to me.

Well, I have to admit I was very VERY intimidated by this baby when I first opened the package!  I immediately nick-named it The Beast.

Aug 7 Rumble Roller 001
you can see how large it is, even compared to my running shoes

But I have had so much trouble with leg cramps after running, that I was willing to do whatever it might take to prevent them.  I have special supplements that I think help, and I make sure to stay well-hydrated, and I stretch an enormous amount, and yes, I foam roll with The Beast!

In all honesty, it took me some time before I was brave enough to try it out.  I put 2 of my yoga mats side by side on the floor and practise my rolling while laying on top of them… and I do mean practise. I may never get the various techniques down just right.

I don’t enjoy it.  I think I look ridiculous doing it. I know I FEEL ridiculous doing it.  But I am sure it helps and I am so thankful every time I finish up a rolling session that Suzanne graced my life with The Beast.

This graphic shows the exercises I do with the Rumble Roller… and I was given permission to use it on my own blog… it is from an article you can find on FIX called Stepping Up the Pace: 19 Ways To Shave Down Your Race Time  - have a look!  They suggest that foam rolling is a way to increase your running pace.


I also roll my calves.  They love me for it.

If you are working your muscles hard… whether it be running, or strength training, or cross fit, or even if you just like massage… I urge you to get yourself one of the many tools available and get rolling! 

One of the blog posts I read this week was about all the different kinds of rolling weapons tools that are available:
Here are some others you shouldn’t miss:

Well, are you a ‘roller’?  What’s your weapon of choice?


  1. I am a roller! I use that horrible spiked devil almost everyday! It hurts, but I feel like it helps speed recovery.

  2. I am a foam roller too! There's a big difference between days that I do use the foam roller and days that I don't. I have a rumble roller too and it was scary at first! But now I kind of love it.

  3. I'm a roller! I look completely ridiculous and have the most scrunched up pained face doing it, but I do it! And thank you for putting I'm a wheel watcher in my head. :)

  4. That thing does look like a beast :) Mine is flat, maybe I should upgrade???

  5. Foam rollers...ouch! But they work so good! :P

  6. I have a foam roller and use it randomly. It's something I want to and need to get more into as I am increasing my mileage for half marathon training! Thanks for the tips - might get out my "rolling pin" ;)

  7. I've been a religious roller ever since my IT band issue following Marathon #1. I've had a rumble roller for about a year and I my ITB still can't quite handle it.

  8. I have a foam roller, a stick and the orb. The orb is a torture, errr massage ball that you can use on tough spots that you maybe can't get with the stick or foam roller. The orb has been my friend when I've gotten an unfortunate painful knot in a calf. Otherwise, the foam roller tends to be the one I use most.

  9. I love my foam roller and definitely need to use it more.

  10. I have been using the rumbleroller for years!!! I use the hard core black one & I LOVE IT!!!!!!! It is great for peeps with more muscle too!!!


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