There has already been a lot of hype about the foam roller, but I thought there is always room for more. The foam roller is a miracle worker when it comes to sore, strained, or tight muscles. When I strained my back for the second time the foam roller was essential for my recovery. Every time I would do my stretch routine I would also foam roll to get that massage. Stretching by itself can only do so much and the foam roller helps to remove the lactic acid that is built up in the deep tissue.
After my workouts, especially leg day, I hit the foam roller to get my muscles on track for a quick recovery. The roller has helped increase the speed of my recovery compared to when I did not use it. It is definitely painful when I try to get that deep tissue massage and my muscles are sore, but it is worth it in the long run.
I usually focus on my legs when using the foam roller. I start out with the quads and break them up into three parts to get the entire area. I do the same for the hamstring. Next I move to the hip area where I massage the hip flexor and the outer hip. From there I work out my butt, doing each cheek separately, and then transition to my lower back. I also roll my calves, upper back and sometimes my chest and arms, but my main focus are the legs, hips and lower back. Doing the chest and arms can feel awkward but it comes in handy when they are pretty sore. I roll each area around 20 times to get a thorough massage.
Before my back injury my senior year I broke my right ankle. It was only a chipped bone but it was severely sprained. It kept me sidelined from playing basketball which was very difficult. My coach, Coach Jordan, gave me a foam roller routine for my ankle to help increase the recovery rate. I rolled every side and angle of my ankle to help remove the lactic acid from the injury. He also had me perform some heel walks across the gym, calf raisers and tennis ball work on the bottom of my foot. He explained to me that when I injured my ankle all the muscles around the injury have to pick up for the injured muscle and therefore they start to get tight. The foam roller helped to loosen them up and flush out the gunk. After just a couple days of my injury I performed this routine religiously. Immediately after the routine I would go out to the track and to my surprise I was able to sprint. It would not last long as the muscles started to get tight again and new gunk would come back. However, the routine made me able to run on my broken and sprained ankle for a short period of time. I just imagined if I did the routine when I didn’t have an injury how much it would improve my performance.
The foam roller truly works wonders. I recommend it for any sport or physical activity. It won’t only improve your performance, but if you were to get injured it would you back on the playing field in a shorter amount of time.
As my love for the foam roller grew deeper I wanted to see if there were any other products like it. Whenever my muscles were extremely sore it was very painful to use the foam roller. I wanted to find a way around this situation. This is where I discovered the stick. The stick is somewhat of a smaller foam roller but made of a plastic. You use it with your hands rather than laying on the ground. It is great for those places that are difficult to reach for the foam roller such as the groin and the neck. It definitely helps when your muscles are in pain when you try to get that deep tissue massage.
The foam roller is Batman, my favorite super hero, and the stick is Robin and they are essential to taking down the criminals, the sore muscles. I hope these products help you the same way they helped me.