Foam Roller Truths

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I developed IT band syndrome in University when I was on the triathlon team at Western. I went to three 2-hour long spin classes a week and ran almost everyday. After about three months of this routine with no stretching to speak of my legs finally gave out. They physically stopped me from running. I could not move them, it was the weirdest thing ever. 

I went to see physios and got ultrasounds but nothing was working. I finally was told to start foam rolling and it KILLED. Like beyond bad killed. I would sweat just looking at a roller for months. But I was determined to give my legs some relief and after a few awful sessions I did start to notice a big difference so I kept going.

Now I foam roll about once a week, usually after a tough workout and 99% of the time I feel zero pain. Like absolutely no discomfort whatsoever could do this all day kind of feeling. If you had told me that when I first started rolling I would not have believed you but it's true.

I think of it like cracking the spine on a book, once you open it up a few times it's not going to crack again. If you've been a dedicated roller for a few months now there should come a time when rolling does not consistently cause you pain. If it still does there are two main reasons for this:

1. You're not rolling enough

Especially if you are an endurance athlete you need to be foam rolling after every single workout for at least a minute per body part, longer if you can stand it! Fascia is tough, get in there.

2. When you are rolling you're not actually rolling

It is VERY tempting to skirt around the painful areas but that's where the magic happens. There is a fine line on the roller and ideally you're just tip toeing over it. Focus in and get the job done. 

Foam rolling can and will change your athletic life. It made a WORLD of a difference for me when I was a triathlete and I'm confident it can do the same for you. 

Let's get cracking!

Need ideas? See my guide for my foam roller favourites. 

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