The roller and I have a SERIOUSLY complicated relationship.
Whenever we are together I'm in so much pain I just want to cry sometimes … and I'm pretty sure I've actually teared up once or twice! But whenever we are apart all I want to do is get back it again. It's just nuts.
My favourite (#notfavourite) bits to roll are my "lateral seams" – the IT bands and my lats.
In the past I've had major IT band trouble. When I was doing triathlons in University my IT bands hated me. It got so bad I couldn't run for more than 5 minutes without feeling like my knee caps were going to snap right off. It's the strangest feeling ever – you literally can't run no matter how much you try your body just says no way, not today. I went to three different physios who poked, ultra-sounded and pressed my leg but nothing was working. I noticed this guy in the gym who was always on the roller so I went up to him and asked exactly why he was rolling so much and if he could show me how to do it. He was a huge help and showed me what to do. The first time I got on the roller I thought there was absolutely NO way I could have been doing it right because the pain was ridiculous. What I imagine child birth to be like bad. But I stuck with it and noticed an immediate difference after a few 20 minute sessions. The roller seriously works. If you're an endurance athlete or even if you're a once/twice a week spinner/runner/repetitive mover (spinning is so so so tough on the IT band because of the fast cadence and turn over) you HAVE to roll. It will save your life like it has mine many times.
It's amazing how much more in tune with your body rolling makes you. I know that it has helped me recover much faster and eventually you start to crave the pain!
Here's exactly what you do:
1. Buy a roller – I love the GRID or any foam roller except it has to be black. Blue and white are not dense enough and they will loose their umph quickly and not be as effective.
2. Keep your roller in your kitchen, family room, bed (seriously I've actually done this!) – any place that you will see it and use it. Out of sight out of mind so keep it in mind!
3. Follow these instructions:
You will know when you're on the spot! Place the roller just below your hip bone and work down from there. Do not roll over your knee cap – try to stay at least two inches above your knee. You can roll up and down and side to side. Be aggressive. Get in there.
If you are SUPER tight you can keep one foot down and glide across your roller. Try to gradually increase your weight on to the roller leg.
The fully monty. Pick both of those legs up and really giver. This is my fav.
Thanks to Fuel training club for teaching me about this one! Such a goodie. Right underneath your armpit there is a LOT going on. Our lats, serratus and triceps all grab on under here and they can get pretty tight!
Keep your hips down and bend your elbow.
Extend your arm straight and lift your hips high to the sky. YES … YAWOOZERS! YES!