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Topic: Foam rollers, Anyone use them?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 2:32 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had my Wife use a rolling pin on my hamstrings and calves the other day and it felt great.  I've been looking at foam rollers, but the prices and quality seem to vary a ton.  I'm hesitant to spend $20.00 on one, let alone $70.00 like some I've seen.  Am I being cheap, or smart?  Any recommendations?  Thanks.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 4:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am a big proponent of the use of foam rollers.  I don’t really have any recommendations, but you don’t need a real expensive one, I bought one from Amazon for $16 and it does exactly what I need it to.  I foam roll almost every day.  It can be painful, especially for beginners, but you are in control of how much pressure you put on the roller, but the trick is to roll gently, and slowly.  Even hold on a certain area that feels tight, and then moving very very slowly down the muscle.  Some areas you have to be extra careful with and you probably shouldn’t foam roll daily (example – IT Band).  

A tennis ball can also be used to get into smaller areas that a foam roller can’t get to.  I use a tennis ball on my hip joint or on the bottoms of my feet.  It works great.  Like I said, foam rolling can be slightly painful, especially for beginners, but you should feel some instant relief when you are done as well.

If you, or anyhow wants, I have a pretty comprehensive .pdf booklet (with pictures) explaining foam rolling techniques and instructions on how to use it on most body parts.  It is not a small file, it’s around 1.5MB.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 5:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a love/hate relationship with my foam roller. I got one around Christmas and have used it 3-4x a week and love it. I got a cheapy one too.

I paid $15 or so and I've definitely gotten my money worth.

The comment on tennis balls is a good one too. I've been made to use tennis balls, softballs, and the foam roller.

It's going to hurt, there's no way around it... but it's going to help too!


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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 5:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

oh, and i couldn't say it any better:


(courtesy of Steve in a Speedo - Completely safe for work)


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PostIcon Posted on: May 16 2012, 5:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think that's the same roller I have LostSheep!  I am rehabbing a hip right now, that's why I use it so much.  After I am healed I will cut down on my usage.  I learned the hard way of foam rolling too much.  I got my IT Band so sore!  And my Physical Therapist asked me how often I was foam rolling it!

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PostIcon Posted on: May 17 2012, 11:12 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yea, there is too much. I typically do my IT one day, my calves the next, lower back, and then generally wherever I've got soreness

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PostIcon Posted on: May 17 2012, 4:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Interesting.

I've never heard of the "foam roller".

I use a tennis ball when I get pinched nerves in my shoulder blade/neck area. (put the tennis ball on the floor and position my nerver/muscles over the top of it and I just relax into the ball.) It hurts like a SOB, but I feel much better after laying there for 10-15 minutes. I keep a ball at work and at home.

Is that the same concept as a foam roller?
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PostIcon Posted on: May 17 2012, 4:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Is that the same concept as a foam roller?


Yes, it's exactly the same.   It is called Self-Myofascial Release.  There are many different methods and tools, but it is all the same thing. I use a foam roller on the bigger muscles.....quads, hamstrings, calves, and my shoulders.  And I use a tennis ball where I need a smaller pressure point, like in my hip joint, or like you, on the back of my neck.  Two tennis balls taped together work great for that as well!

Like I said, many different tools are out there, just gotta find the right ones for you.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 18 2012, 10:28 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I’m a big fan of foam rollers here. When I'm running 20+ miles a week I'll foam roll before stretching after running almost daily. Work the knots out with the roller and then stretch. The roller is for loosening knots that otherwise get tighter from stretching without rolling before. One thing I have found out from people with the narrow rollers is by far most of them wish they had purchased a full size roller, around 36” instead. If you want portability try some of the roller sticks out now. The roller sticks aren’t as good IMO as a foam roller be they help. For the bottom of your feet try a golf ball to loosen up. It hurts sometimes bit at first but starts feeling really good shortly. I’ll do that when I’m brushing my teeth in the morning.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 18 2012, 3:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

O...M...G... Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm gonna pick one of these up after work.

I've used a rolling pin in the past. I never knew these foam rollers existed.

A few years ago I was having bad back/neck problems, primarily debilitating spasms. I went to a Rolfer and signed up for the full 10-session program. It hurt so good. "Intense" is the way I describe it. But, it's been close to 5 years and I haven't had another spasm... so I know the benefits of myofascial release. I was thinking of going in for another tune-up session, but I think I'll try a roller first.

Again, thanks... you made my day.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 19 2012, 9:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK guys. I've never heard of these things.  Could we get a few more specifics?  Exactly what are they for, how do they work and what do they do? Do I need one?

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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2012, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This article describes the foam roller as "The Poor Man's Massage Therapist".

http://www.performbetter.com/webapp....ame=225

That said, I don't know a whole lot more about them than you do. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2012, 4:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ms D and HikerJer I'm not sure if you need a foam roller but I'll go with if you get stiff and sore after working your muscles and stay that way, then a roller and stretching may help. You can get lots of info on-line Here are a couple and the first one includes videos.

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7120,s6-238-267--13796-0,00.html

http://www.runnersworld.com/article/1,7120,s6-241-285--11556-0,00.html

Experiment to see what works for you. From my experience it saved me a few trips to the massage therapist during the summer and fall months of running hard. If your doing it it correct it works wonders loosening knots and such. I will say that last summer I slacked off for lack of knowing better. I didn't roll and stretch well after running and other exercise to the point that I had to make two trips to get massages a week apart just to get my muscles loosened up. $150 bucks later I made darn sure that rolling and stretching became part of my regular routine of exercise. Sometimes it will hurt take it easy on those spots let the roller apply pressure for 15-20 seconds then continue rolling the rest of that area. The rollers work also if you put them lenghtwise along your body and roll that way especially along the side of the backbone, oh it hurts so good.
Most important is roll to loosen the knots up before stretching. It does make a difference.
Ms D rolling works especially well for women and the IT band which seems to be a problem area on the women that I run with. Work that area well with the roller and stretching to help with the pain along it and that sometimes also effects your knees.
Sorry if I was long winded but I'm getting to be an old f--- and anything that helps keep me going pain free without drugs I'm more then happy to share with others young and old.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 20 2012, 6:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wonder if it will help with my tight Achilles?  They just don't want to loosen up...

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PostIcon Posted on: May 21 2012, 8:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry Talus not so much for the achilles but if your calves are tight it'll help with them. One thing I've been doing for my achilles is an exercise for strengthening your calf and the achilles. You may want to try it along with stretching it.
You stand on the balls of your feet on the edge of a platform say 3-4" high. Here I don't recommend stairs until you can do full sets in good form.
Have something to hold on to or lean against while doing this.
Stand tippy toe and then one foot at a time slowly drop down until that foot is slightly dropped below the top of the platform your standing on, don't drop your heel to far down. Then go back to standing tippy toe and use both legs to get up. Concentrate on the downward motion and doing that one foot at a time. 15 or so reps a side and 3 sets. It seems to have helped me and it actually feels good after doing them. My achilles has been sore for months up until lately and I think doing these helped a lot with getting back to somewhat normal.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 21 2012, 11:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the info, WBrim. Perhaps I'll give it a shot. Great links as well!
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PostIcon Posted on: May 21 2012, 4:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WBrim, excellent exercise. I pulled my achilles and that was one of the exercises they had me do repeatedly.

Essentially it's a calf raise, but I was told to limit the range of motion so that I stand up as far as possible, but come down just under parallel of my lifted step.

Another was the stretching and foam rolling of the calf. My calves and gastrocs were so tight that it was causing all sorts of issues with the achilles.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2012, 11:20 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just curious, who of that didn't have a roller went out and got themselves one.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2012, 11:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WBrim @ May 25 2012, 11:20 am)
QUOTE
Just curious, who of that didn't have a roller went out and got themselves one.

I'll be getting mine this afternoon. I've wanted to get one since I saw this thread a week ago, but literally every evening has been busy.

I'm ready for some lovely gastroc agony.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2012, 1:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not yet, but I intend to. :)
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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2012, 3:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I got mine Wednesday.  I've only used it once.  You guys are soft-it doesn't hurt :cool: .

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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2012, 8:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just had my wife use the rolling pin on my back and thighs.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2012, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Talus you don't have the knots that I've had. But rolling hurts so good when you do.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 28 2012, 12:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been contemplating these for the last few weeks...but as has been mentioned, there are a lot out there and I didn't want to spend a ton on one that is no better than the cheaper one...I will check out the one that LS has linked to though...

I want it for my IT band...Dang, no matter what I do, it hurts on every trip I go on...and it sucks! I am about to head out on 3 of the longest days I have yet to do (a 23 mile, 28.4 mile and then another 21 - 23 mile...the AT though the Smokies) and would like to try to roll the IT bands to stretch them a little...hoping it will help...I have also started taking glucosamine to see if that will help any and use the ITB straps...I need to get more though...

So, thanks for the thread...

EDIT: Foam roller ordered!


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PostIcon Posted on: May 28 2012, 8:40 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey Stick. If your IT is that bad you may want to try a massage. I let mine get real bad last summer so finally I went in for a massage. What a difference it made, well worth the money. I shouldn't have let it get that bad in the first place. Now I have a roller, carry a stick in the car and I use them both.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 28 2012, 10:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will keep that in mind. And yeah, at least it can feel pretty bad. If I get it to acting up it usually takes about a week and a half after the hike to get better, but still with some little tweaks...

Anyway, i am looking forward for the foam roller to get here...  :)


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PostIcon Posted on: May 29 2012, 10:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Got mine this past Friday. I've used it a little bit on calves, hamstrings, and lats. I would have used it more if it wasn't so hot this past weekend (I haven't installed the AC yet). The calf/hamstring exercises are a workout! Kinda reminds me of yoga. They feel good, and are nowhere near as intense as an actual deep-tissue massage.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 29 2012, 8:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WWBF, did you order the same one that LS linked to above? If so, that seems like pretty fast shipping, which would be great! I just ordered mine (from that link) the night before last...

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PostIcon Posted on: May 31 2012, 9:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I bought my roller at Dick's. Same dimensions though.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 1:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just an update...

I use my roller about every other day. I love it. Nothing like waking on a Saturday with a stiff back, doing some reps on the roller, and hearing/feeling the pop-pop-pop of my spine. It also helps a lot with stiff/sore muscles.


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