Foam Roller/Massage Ball
You will hear me talk about the importance of massage while you’re training. Stretching is important, too. But, if your overworked muscles have knots, no amount of stretching is going to help with the tightness and pain. Regular massage will help, but getting a massage every time you have a muscled knot can become expensive and time consuming. Wouldn’t it be great if you could self massage? Nothing is as good as a massage from a human, but there is a way to self massage in between massage visits and as often as you like. You just need some good products to help with trigger points.
Trigger Point Performance Therapy is a great resource for tools that will keep your body feeling good in between massage.
The first tool I discovered to help with my muscle knots is the foam roller. This little piece of foam will save your body. It helps to break up all that gunk that has settled in your muscles that stretching alone just can’t take care of. This gem will “hurt so good” and is a must for every runner. This tool can be used on any part of your body, and I have used it, literally, from head to toe. It’s sometimes difficult to stop once you get going, and you usually find knots you never knew existed.
The best way to start with the foam roller is to place it on the floor, preferably a carpeted area, and sit centered on it with your legs straight out in front of you. Roll your body slowly around up, down, side to side, pausing on any knots. Remember to breathe and have fun!
Another good tool is the massage ball for a more accurate massage. This little ball is great for the hips and piriformis muscle.
Although I haven’t had a chance to use the Quadballer yet, this looks like a perfect tool for us runners. Stand by for my review! I will be purchasing one.
These products have saved me from injury and pains that have prevented me from running in the past. IT band pain/injury, is, in my opinion, the worst injury a runner can endure. It is a debilitating pain that has kept me from running. Daily foam rolling/massage ball use has kept my IT bands nice and loose!
**Please make sure to drink plenty of water after a self-massage. This treatment is comparable to going and getting a deep-tissue massage.**