I picked up a foam roller when my fiancee and I visited the City Square Mall Decathlon to replace her well worn yoga mat and some apparels. I have a tight ITB which has responded well to sports massages. My runs have been either pain free or a lot less painful since also because I have started stretching more often and improved my running form. The natural next step was foam rolling. Decathlon is known for selling items at a great value but the foam roller was not really one of them being priced at S$24.90. Here is how my first experience went:
- Focus and Method. My focus was understandably my lower body. Glutes, quads, hamstrings, ITB and calves. As this was before my indoor spin, I went with 2 x 1 minute rolls on each portion. I added more time for areas that hurt so that the roller could exert sufficient pressure to release the tension. I did the same after my spin and post-spin stretches.
- Results. It hurts! My glutes, quads and hamstrings were relatively pain-free but my ITB and calves were screaming. Expectedly, these corresponded with the areas which required the most work during the sports massages. Nonetheless, it was satisfying to feel the release in tension over problematic spots. This included my glutes and hamstrings.
- Time. Rolling takes time as does stretching. My concern is how long each post run and ride period will now take doing both. Stretches and foam rolls work out to a total of around 25 mins which is significant. Add that to the usual 20-30 minutes I need to clean up my bike and other equipment post ride, the total time needed for each workout is sky rocketing. I will have to find a balance.
It was a new, painful but somewhat rewarding experience. I’ll give this is shot for a month and see how my muscles respond.