Get Ready To Roll

Chances are, your foam roller doesn’t see any action until after your run.  Although foam rollers are often used to ease postexercise tightness, research suggests that rolling out before you hit the road has perks, too.  Follow this prerun foam roller routine to get the most our of your next run.

Lay face down with the foam roller under your thighs.  Put your forearms on the ground in a plank-like position.  Supporting some of your own body weight, roll from the bottom of the hip to the top of the knee.  You can roll both quads together, or one at a time to observe differences in sensitivity between sides.  Spend more time on your sensitive side.

Sit with the roller under the tops of your thighs.  Place your hands in a supportive position behind you so you are comfortably stable.  Support some of your body weight with your hands.  Roll back and forth from just under your glutes to just above the back of the knees.

Sit down and place your hands propped behind you, so you are supported and stable.  Keep your back straight and shoulders stable.  Place one calf on the roller and the other foot on the floor to help support and guide your body.  Roll from just below the back of your knee to just above your Achilles, supporting some of your body weight with your hands.

Lay on your side with one arm stretched overhead.  Place the foam roller in the backside “meaty” area of your armpit.  Avoid placing weight on your ribs.  Move only slightly forward and back, as most of the exposed muscle will be directly under the foam roller.

Lay on your back.  Cross your arms and put the foam roller under your shoulder blades.  Hold your hips off the ground.  Roll up and down from shoulder level to the middle of your back.  Take care to avoid the neck and low back; applying too much pressure could potentially lead to injuries.

IT Band
First, identify the muscle.  Place your hand on the outside of your hip, just below your hipbone, and turn your leg inward.  The small bulge you feel under your hand is your TFL.  Place the roller right under this muscle; it is important to never roll your IT Band.  Lie on top and tilt your body forward at a 45-degree angle.  Roll a small distance, slowly, back and forth.  The belly of the muscle is small, so not much motion is needed.  If you find a tender spot, hold pressure for 20 to 60 seconds until tension is reduced.

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