After reading about the benefits of foam rolling, I decided I would give it a try on my tired legs (and aching shins). WOW. It hurt like the dickens. I don’t embarrass easily, but after a few days of foam rolling at the gym and being near tears from the pain, I decided I needed my own foam roller, so I could stretch out my poor muscles in the privacy of my own home.
I purchased a jFit 18″ foam roller and it was the perfect size. I ordered mine from Amazon, but you can also find them here.
Keep in mind that foam rolling exercises are just that — EXERCISE. Your muscles will feel not only the pressure from the foam roller, but from holding the various positions. Also remember that foam rolling over tight / tense spots on your body will hurt at first. A lot. You
may will want to stop because the pain is crazy. Stick with it, and the pain becomes much more manageable. I’ve heard the more it hurts, the more you need it.
When I first started foam rolling, the hardest thing for me (besides the excruciating pain) was understanding exactly what I was supposed to be doing. I was sure what I was doing was wrong. I’ve learned that really, you can either use the roller manually and place it directly on your body (which works great for hard to roll areas, like the inside of your shins) or place your body weight on the roller and roll back and forth over tight spots. Like I’ve mentioned, it will be painful at first if you have any tightness. When I first started foam rolling 15 seconds was agony. Now, I can foam roll my shins for up to a minute at a time.
I have definitely noticed a difference in how tight a feel since I’ve begun foam rolling. I highly recommend purchase a roller for yourself if you don’t have access to one at a gym (or if you are concerned about crying in public :)) If you are a visual learner, like me, check out the following pictures from joefitness.com for pics of what to do to foam roll your muscles.
Do you foam roll or use the stick? Has it helped you in your training?