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The Essential Foam Roller

Do you foam roll?  Do you roll the foam?  Do you have any idea what I’m talking about?!

No?  OK, don’t be embarrassed.  Let’s break it down.

A foam roller is essential for anyone with muscle pains, aches, and injuries.  It’s also essential to prevent injuries (OMT likes this one!).

BONUS: It’s easy!  You basically get down on the floor and roll the area that needs attention.

Like this:

NOTE: I never use my roller on a mat; I just throw it on the carpet and roll.  If you have wood/tile floors, you may or may not want to use a mat.  Dealer’s choice.

For those of you who have never used a foam-roller, I’ll start by laying down some truth: AIN’T NOTHING FOAMY ABOUT IT!  The name is a complete misnomer. A proper foam roller has little give, and that is what you want. It is gonna hurt like hell the first couple of times you use it, but the more you use it, the less pain you feel.

You will want to buy a quality dense foam roller.  There are many on the market that just don’t hold up.  I’ve had mine for a few years now and use it on average three times a week.  Husband, who is heavier than I, uses it as well.  My point is this roller has held its shape throughout our abuse.  Well done, roller!

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This is my roller: OPTP Foam Roller

Foam Roller for PainPRODUCT DEETS:

  • Designed for high use
  • Ideal for athletes and trainers
  • Ideal for those wanting an intense myofacsial release

Yes, that last bullet point.  What the heck does that mean?!

Myofacsial release is the magic you’re seeking when foam rolling.  Basically, think of it as ironing out all your muscular knots so you can perform with better flexibility and function.  If your muscles are tight it can hinder form, hindered form can lead to overcompensating, which can lead to injury.

What are the benefits of  myofascial release?

• Corrects muscle imbalances
• Improves joint range of motion
• Relieves muscle soreness and joint stress
• Decreases neuromuscular hypertonicity
• Increases extensibility of musculotendinous junction
• Improves neuromuscular efficiency
• Maintains normal functional muscular length

This is not mumbo-jumbo, this is fact, Jack!

It’s not just the pro athletes using foam rollers, it’s folks like you and me.  You DO NOT have to be an athlete to benefit from adding a foam rolling routine to your activities.

As an older runner, my foam rolling routine has helped relieve old nagging aches and pains and has helped to prevent new injuries.  I can tell a huge difference in my performance when I slack from rolling.

Yep, sometimes I slack, because, well, the areas that need work are tender and the last thing I want to do is roll them over a hard surface.  Then I gut-up and do it anyway, knowing I’ll feel better for it.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion about foam rollers.  I also hope you start using one (if you haven’t started already).

Today, NOW, is the perfect time to start taking better care of the one body you’ve got.

Roll on, my babies!


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Perimenopause Can Suck It #10: Losing Muscle Mass

Friday 10th of October 2014

[…] then get down on the floor for stretches and my yoga moves and finish off with rolling with my foam roller of terror! Takes me about 45 minutes from start to […]

Barb @ A Life in Balance

Friday 2nd of May 2014

Love the comment about being an older runner! As a 46 year old, I find the aches and pains show up a lot more these days than they did only a year ago. I love my foam roller though I don't use it as much as I should.

Mrs. Tucker

Friday 2nd of May 2014

I'm on a 2x daily regimen lately. Helps more than I can say.

Stephanie Woods | Stephanie.Fitness

Wednesday 30th of April 2014

I foam roll every almost every day. I swear by it and tell all of my clients to do it as well. But, it never gets easier. No matter how often or how long I do it, it still hurts like a bastard! Lol Great blog post!

Mrs. Tucker

Thursday 1st of May 2014

I read this to my husband after he had just foam-rolled and we both had a good laugh. You are so right: hurts like a bastard! Ha!


Friday 25th of April 2014

THANK YOU! I have heard about these and read about them in a hiking magazine once. Upon your recommendation, I purchased one of these. I need to get my lower half in shape and know that rolling will help with my knee issues.

Thanks again! C

Mrs. Tucker

Friday 25th of April 2014

I LOVED reading that your working towards that goal. My other rec would be (to help knees)to roll your IT band as well. It runs along the outer side of your leg, from the hip down. It's often the source of knee pain. Good luck!


Thursday 24th of April 2014

I finally bought one of these a couple of weeks ago - I love it. I haven't used it much in the past week but I was trying to use it at least 3 times a week. I workout every morning but haven't added this to my morning routine, yet. I have been trying to use it in the evenings - helps stretch out muscles and makes you sleep good.

Mrs. Tucker

Friday 25th of April 2014

Husband uses it in the evening and says it helps him sleep. You guys may be on to something.

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