Updated: Apr 17, 2020
Foam Rolling Your Troubles Awaaaaaayyyyy!!!️
I have taught fitness and dance non-stop for 30 years and have always advocated for massage as part of ones health and wellness. But if you're like me, your wallet may not be that much of an advocate and so careful planning of said massages may leave you with pockets of time where a deep tissue beatdown could totally be used but can't be attained. Refer back to the uncooperative wallet here. So foam rolling aka self massage is a great alternative, nay a necessary option to get you through till your next massage.
I use a solid foam roller like the black one in the picture, a massage ball and a handheld roller "stick" with nubs like the blue one in the picture. I have the latter two in my gym bag at all times and have been known to whip them out at my desk or driving long distances. I'm always reading on the topic and I wanted to share a common mistake that I made when I first started - rolling directly on an injured area.
It would seem to make sense that if your IT band is hurting then rolling directly on the IT band would help alleviate that trouble spot. However, the body doesn’t work this way for a number of reasons.
First, when it comes to foam rolling and myofascial release, constantly working the area of pain could create more inflammation and tension in the area, further tensing the muscles and fascia.
Second, where you feel the pain is not always the source of the injury.
IT band trouble, for example, isn’t typically a result of the IT band itself being tight. Rather, IT band issues are typically a result of tightness in the muscle groups that attach to the IT band, like the gluteus maximus (your butt).
So what should you do instead?
Rather than constantly working directly on the area that causes pain, slowly foam roll your way away from the pain center to the connecting muscles.
Once you hit the attachment areas, work those thoroughly. Then proceed back to the area of pain and work gently at first.
Visualize yourself “melting away” the tightness.
Not only will you avoid inciting excess inflammation this way, but you’ll target the real source of your injury.
Interested in a fitness/wellness consultation or have some questions about nutrition and your current fitness program? Join any of my groups online (Facebook) and/or pick up my book, How to be Fit for Life - Eight Proven Steps to Reaching Your Fitness Goals, Getting Results, and Living the Fitness Life for more help with your fitness journey. And please feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have:). . #healthynana #girlonthego #wellnesscoach#fitnessinstructor #foamrollfriday #hurtssogood #selfmassage