Foam Roll it UP!!!

Happy Monday!

Another week begins.  ::sigh:: i must confess that I did not participate in P90X StretchX for my     Day 6.  My body was hurting.  Plus, I think after throwing my back out earlier in the week I was a bit more hesitant.  So… I decided to FOAM ROLL instead!!!  Have you ever used a foam roller??

Well, here is a little background for you!

Wikipedia defines Foam rolling as a self-myofaicial release technique that is used by athletes and physical therapists to inhibit overactive muscles.  This form of stretching utilizes the concept of autogenic inhibition to improve soft tissues extensibility, thus relaxing the muscle and allowing the activation of the antagonist muscle.

Did that make sense to you?  Okay.  So a Foam Roller is a foam cylinder, kind of like the pool toys but shorter, wider and more firm!  You can purchase them at most fitness stores, and now Walmart and Target.  They do come in differing firmness’. I had one that was WAY too firm and then had to replace it for a softer variety.  They also make ones now that remind me of the Adidas Sandals with all of the little bumps coming off of it! 😛 Oh you KNOW you had a pair!!!

I love the foam roller because I can’t A. Afford to get a massage and B. really need a massage!  It basically provides a ‘massage’ to your soft tissues.  You use your own bodyweight to apply pressure to sore spots.  And believe me, you know when you hit a sore spot!  You simply use the roller to apply pressure to sensitive areas of the muscle and then hold it for a few seconds on that spot.  You can pretty much use the foam roller for any part of your body!  It’s amazing!!

So when and how do you roll?  I have heard recommendations to roll before and after a workout.  Actually, I came to hear about the foam roller through runners!  I’m not a runner, but I still enjoy the benefits.  If you roll before you exercise, you can help to decrease muscle density making your warm up more beneficial.  After, can help with your recovery.  I foam roll at least 2-3 time a week for about 10 minutes. I usually do it after a long day when i’m watching tv. How?  I have attached a fabulous link from that can guide you through exercises for each of your muscle groups.

The routine I did on Saturday was the Tone It Up Routine!  Have I mentioned that I love these girls! They show you all facets of fitness! They have an instructional video on their site, but also a follow guide.

Here’s my representation of their program

aaaaaannndd… BEcause, well, I’m not the Pros here are the handouts!

I LOVED the shoulder ones at the end!!!  You can completely feel the muscles in the middle and sides of your back when you’re opening and closing your arms and then doing the snow angels!

It’s my cheapy version of a massage, and it’s here to stay!!

Have you ever used a foam roller before?

If you have, what’s your favorite “roll”??