Mobility work. It’s that annoying thing that you know you need to do but you never want to do. Like laundry. Or unloading the dishwasher. Does anyone really like those tasks?!?
It doesn’t take long, and it’s good when it’s done, but the actually doing it part is hard.
Mobility work is essential to recovery though- it helps your body stay limber and injury free.
If you workout a lot but never stretch and mobilize, you’re setting yourself up for some problems down the road. But if you read my post about injuries a couple of weeks ago, you already know how I feel about it!
So here is my favorite way to mobilize and relieve my muscles (other than getting a deep tissue massage, which may be one of my favorite things everrrrrr). Alas, I can not get a pro massage every single day. BOO. Unless Ben learns how to do it or I make enough money to have a daily masseuse, I am stuck with my own devices. And my go-to device is…
The Foam Roller
Love it and hate it. It hurts so good!
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release. What does that mean? The fascia is the soft tissue that makes up a muscle, and it gets tight, sore and weakened form constant use. Rolling the fascia out releases the tension that builds up and keeps you safe from injury. It’s great, especially when used with stretching. It’s a perfect combo for anyone who works out!
You can also get them super cheap- it’s a great inexpensive piece of equipment to keep in your house or apartment…or in your office, wherever!
I have a regular roller at home but I like to use my TriggerPoint Grid Roller the most. It is extra shitty in the best way possible. It’s textured and raised like a grid (duh, hence the name) so it really gets in there and breaks up tight muscles.
I roll my legs and back the most. I pay extra attention to my calves, IT band (it runs down the outside of your thigh from hip to knee), mid back and booty.
Rolling my back out just feels really nice- like the best stretch ever. I’ll often just lay on top of the roller for 5 minutes and get some good back bendy action in.
The key to foam rolling is to slowly roll and find a point that hurts and then hold it there. Don’t forget to breathe! Let the muscle release and keep the rest of your body as relaxed as possible.
I like to foam roll right after workouts and at night for 10 minutes while watching TV.
Sometimes, if I’m pretty sore or feeling extra stiff and achy, I’ll lightly foam roll before a workout. Since I’ve had my hamstring tear that is healing slowly, I pay special attention to that leg! My hamstring is weak, so the other muscles in my leg are working extra hard to compensate, so I foam roll that whole leg pre and post workout whenever I can.
Here is a great little guide that Women’s Health put out for basic foam rolling moves– hitting all the areas that typically need it! With great photos too!
There are other “rollers” out there on the market that are a little easier to transport too, like “stick” rollers.
These are better for traveling, but you have to exert more effort into it…and it you don’t, it won’t really get the job done quite as well in my opinion. But they can be good in a pinch. When I was marathon training, I bright this baby with me basically everywhere!
I recently saw someone with a vibrating grid roller and that’s next one I need to try- I mean it sounds terrible and I need it in my life!
Happy Monday! Stay healthy and mobile and have a kick ass week beautiful babes!