Roll it Out
Post workout pain getting the best of you? We’ve all been there!
When I began upping my miles and upping the intensity of my workouts a few years back, my muscles definitely spoke to me. I had a slight piriformis injury, and when your piriformis muscle (which is located in your butt) is tight or inflamed, you get to know what the saying “pain in the butt” really means! I couldn’t sit for too long, my butt would ache, my legs would feel tight, it was awful. But, then the skies opened, and I was introduced to my number one workout companion, the foam roller. 'Hurts so good' is one of the best ways to describe rolling out your muscles. And it was almost instant that my piriformis muscle felt better. Pain in the butt no more.
Why is a foam roller so amazing? Rolling improves circulation, which gets the body ready for a workout and helps it recover afterward. Because rolling breaks down knots that limit range of motion, it preps muscles for stretching. Applying pressure to the muscles with a dense foam roller is a type of self-myofascial release, or self-massage. If you stretch the muscles but don’t do anything to the connective tissue, the athlete will go back to his or her limited range of motion, that’s the beauty in foam rolling, it improves your ROM overall. Just spending a few minutes after each workout, or a few minutes a week, rolling your muscles out will make all the difference. It is a simple self-manual therapy technique often used to improve flexibility, recovery, and performance. It also reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). That is why I stress to my clients to invest in a decent foam roller and to roll out your muscles often. I will even bring out my during sessions.
Foam rollers are relatively cheap, ranging from a few dollars up to $40. However, I suggest buying a firmer and longer foam roller (atleast 18-inches) which is typically more expensive, but worth it. It helps target the trigger points for myofascial release better. Its like getting a deep tissue massage without all the hassle! I have a 3-in-1 roller which I love. So find one you like, roll it out and enjoy.