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Foam Rolling

Posted Jul 27 2012 8:54am
How is it even possible that I have made it over 10 years a distance runner and have never used a foam roller until today? After a weekend of long running, a tough strength workout, speed work (followed by an attempted second run at night) and then boot camp tormenting my legs I decided today was the day. Foam rolling is a form of self myofascial release that releases tension from muscles and causes relaxation leading to increased flexibility and improved range of motion, more information about Foam Rolling here.  I found this article on the benefits of Foam Rolling  with a lot of great information and exercises. And in case you really want to read more  here is a great literature review showing the self-myofascial release improves flexibility and isometric strength.

I have resorted to using wooden cylinder blocks in the past to roll my calf but now am the owner of a shiny new foam roller and yikes it works! I positioned my hamstring on the roller and immediately knew this would be painful but good. I did a routine of 1 minute rolling with focus on tight areas and releasing tension. The more Areas I tried rolling the more areas or tightness I found. I soon lost my foam roller to a little dancer and gymnast who must also have sore legs...

A little more rolling and I moved on to pilates/yoga combo DVD to help with my lack of flexibility. This and the yoga workout at boot camp this morning have given me the idea to write more on ways to improve strength and flexibility in runners while decreasing injury, so look for more to come. I am happy to say I managed an easy 3 mile run this morning prior to boot camp and my legs actually felt better. Hoping the a regular routine of this helps even more for easier long runs and recovery.

Happy Friday and after a busy couple weeks looking forward to a relaxing weekend of running and boating. What are your weekend plans?

Runners, take a minute and check out A Girl Runner  read her touching story, support her and pledge your miles. I am pledging 50 miles but hoping for even more, what can you run?
Linking at Fitness Friday , see what others are up to...
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