Don’t know what to do with a foam roller? I will let you in on a little secret… the foam roller is one of my favorite accessories. I have upper back soreness often. The foam roller has saved me countless times when I don’t have time to fit in a massage. Sometimes when I am rolling out that tough spot in my back, I know my eyes are rolled to the back of my head and I have been transported to another place. It hurts, but in the absolute best way possible.
The roller’s main purpose is stretch out and lengthen tissue, but is extremely helpful for those sore spots on the body. Nancy has always promoted at least one day during the week that should be set aside for healing. My rest and recovery tactics are my roller and a really good stretch. If I am lucky, that healing day might also land on Bloody Mary day… but that might be a blog for another time! Bottom line is that your body needs time to recover from the activity you put it through in any given week. The video shows a few great ways to decompress those sore muscles.
The first stretch in the video is for the chest cavity. Lay on the roller length wise. Rest your head close to the top of the roller and your butt near the bottom. The roller should be centered between your shoulder blades. Let your chest cavity open and relax around the roller. Hold this position for at least a minute. I like to stay a little longer because it feels so good. For a little more stretch, extend your arms out to the sides and slowly guide them over your head as if you are making a snow angel. If you don’t have snow in your part of the world…make it a sand angel? That should work. The video shows this move well.
The next stretch involves the upper back. This is the one that provides me a legal out of body experience. Don’t even try to talk to me during this stretch because I will be unable to respond. Begin by placing the roller across the middle of your back. Then, roll back and forth, using your legs as support. My noggin needs support, so I place my hands behind my neck. I also prefer to have my elbows touching to get the most relief for those stubborn tight spots between my shoulder blades. Typically I will roll for several minutes, getting the most from my out of body experience. You can see what works best for you.
The last stretch in the video involves the soft tissue around the I.T. band. You will need to support yourself with your arms on this one. Roll back and forth on that butt muscle and down the thigh. You might feel a little pain on this one… some pain is ok because you are breaking down the soft tissue.
Ice and ibuprofen is going to be key after you use the roller. After some time you will get used to what works and feels best for you. You will also become addicted to the roller’s power! It took me hours to write this blog because I stopped several times to use my roller. I love it so!
When you are choosing a roller, try not to get caught up in the fancy dancy colors or textures. The basic white roller from Power Systems is what I use. The roller comes in different lengths, I prefer the longer one. It offers many options for different body parts. If you would like to purchase a roller click here Power Systems. Your tired muscles will thank you!
Have a great week friends!
P.S. Nancy is looking for groups for her #walkwithme program this summer. If you are interested in gathering a group together, she will come to a park near you! Please leave a comment or send an email to set up a date!