Tuesday, September 18, 2012

try Foam Rolling

At the Healthy Living Summit, I got to know Angela, blogger at Happy Fit Mama.  Today, she's teaching us about foam rollers:


Hi everyone! A big THANK YOU to Meredith for allowing me to guest post on her wonderful blog today. 

Today I want to talk to you about foam rolling. Do you own one? If not, you should! Here's a brief back story on how I came upon this wonderful tool. I have been a runner for years but in the past 2 years I have become more involved with the half marathon distance. A physical therapist friend of mine suggested I try foam rolling when I complained of tight hamstrings and quads after a run. So I did. During my first session with the roller, I wondered why my friend would suggest I do something that hurt so much? Was she out to get me? She actually did the best thing for me. Although it hurt like crazy during the actual rolling, afterwards my muscles were more relaxed and less sore. I am more faithful than ever to my foam roller now that I am battling Patello Femoral (aka Runner's Knee). It's made a HUGE difference in my recovery.

Foam Rollers on Amazon

Why should you use a foam roller?
  • Eliminates and prevents muscle knots
  • Increases flexibility
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Help prevent injury
  • Improve running or sport performance
  • Cheaper than seeing a massage therapist a few days a week!

Essentially, foam rolling is similar to stretching but hits the muscle deeper. If you use a foam roller or plan to start, don't forget about stretching. Think of foam rolling as another injury prevention tool in your exercise tool belt. The more tools you have the better off you will be in staying active for life!

When foam rolling, remember to:
  • Roll back and forth across the area that you are massaging for about 60 seconds. If you have a tight spot, stop and hold pressure on that area.
  • For injury prevention, try to roll 2-3 times a week or after every run. Daily is preferred!
  • Avoid bony areas. That may cause bruising.
  • Follow a session of foam rolling with stretching.

Watch to learn how:

Angela is a Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist from the ACSM who specializes in Cardiac Rehabilitation. She loves running, yoga and all things fitness. Her favorite training tool (besides a foam roller) is running with her twin toddlers in a double stroller. It's Mama's secret weapon for blowing the competition out of the water!

Twitter: @happyfitmama


Thank you, Angela!  Excellent tips and demonstration.

I have only used a foam roller once, and certainly found it painful, just like Angela said of her first experience.  However, sometimes a little pain post-workout is worth it for muscle recovery and preventing soreness.  So go ahead and try it - get your own, or find them at your local gym.

Tell us: Do you use a foam roller?  Dare you to try! 


  1. Thank you for this post. Now I know to use this one.

  2. EVERY DAY---needed or not :0 and it's always needed....

  3. Thanks for letting me share! Foam rolling is one of those things that everyone needs to do but has no idea how to do it.

  4. I'm not big into foam rolling yet. I've tried it a number of times, and I'm trying really hard to like it. haha Maybe one day it'll do it for me. ;)

  5. I have recently become a foam rolling machine! LOVE!

  6. Love. Foam. Rolling. I do it in front of the TV almost every night!

  7. I always thought it was strange that people foam rolled, until my IT band started acting up and now I am a believer :)

  8. I just adopted the foam roller as my friend and not my enemy ! It helped me so much in my recovery run today after my first half marathon this weekend when my calf seized up. I tell everyone it is so worth the discomfort to be able to walk!

  9. I love my foam roller. It really does make a huge difference. Thanks for sharing these tips Angela!

  10. Great post - I love foam rolling!

  11. Foam rolling is the best after a run! Great post!

  12. I need to get rolling and get a foam roller. #Solateinthegame

  13. Great post, and nice video, Angela! I have been using the foam roller more consistently lately, especially for my IT band and it really helps speed recovery.

  14. Gotta love AND hate the foam roller... excellent post and this is a MUST in my household.

  15. we have vids on how to do something that has been used and out there for years...? really? everyone has gone stoopid!


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