Miles says, "hold off on stretching after a long run and instead foam roll your sore muscles." Firm foam rollers are best. If you are new to foam rolling, avoid all the bells and whistles and start with a basic but firm roller until you get used to it.
Rollers come in all shapes and sizes. GridX is extra firm for more intense pressure. Some even vibrate! Coach Amy says to be careful of rollers with larger protrusions (larger then a bump) - they can be too much for many of the muscles that runners typically roll such as the illiotibial band. Coach Amy uses a lacrosse ball with her patients for hard to reach areas such as the peroneals.
- move SLOWLY - too fast and the muscle may tighten up instead
- work one area/section no more than 5 min. - too long and you may damage the tissue
- roll just in front of and behind the illiotibial band rather than right on top of it
- avoid the nerves - if you feel a sharp shooting pain, burning or numbness/tingling, you are on a nerve. Simply shift in one direction or the other slightly and you will roll off it.
If you'd like instruction on foam rolling including proper technique and 2-3 moves per area including isolations, you can make an appointment with Coach Amy at Sport+Spine and she will work 1:1 with you or a small group. Call Sport+Spine for pricing.