Tuesday, February 10, 2015

They See Me Rollin'

Meet your new best friend:

That, dear ones, is a foam roller.  And it will change your life.

Now, before you start saying things like, "I already have a best friend," and "I really prefer my besties to do fancy things like talk and breathe," you must ask yourselves these questions:

  • Does your best friend ease back pain?  Hip pain?  Shin splints?  IT Band tightness? Any other pain in just about any other part of your body?  Because the foam roller does.

  • Does your best friend sometimes monopolize the conversation?  Because the foam roller is an excellent listener.

  • Do you ever find yourself saying, "WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?" as your best friend magically loosens that tight, uncomfortable spot on your front hip that has been plaguing you for weeks?  Because you'll say that to the foam roller.  Matter of fact, I said it just last night. 

  • Does it ever annoy you that your best friend came with a name all their own?  Because you're free to name the foam roller whatever you want.  Name it Ned.  Name it Betty.  Name it Dietrich Bonhoeffer, or Marie Curie.  I want to name ours Homey, but I haven't exactly run that by Husband yet, and have a sneaking suspicion he isn't going to find that nearly as funny as I do.  (Get it, Derek?  We'd literally be rolling with our Homey.)  (It's shameful how much I laugh at my own jokes sometimes.)

Really, though?  I want to carve our initials in a tree, I love our foam roller so much:  DC + KC + HC.  The foam roller isn't exactly a new fad, so I've heard a couple friends talk about them before, but it wasn't until Derek made this video that he started saying, "I think we need to adopt a foam roller.  Let's go to the store and give a foam roller it's forever home."  (He didn't exactly put it like that; Derek is just the tiniest bit less fanciful than I am.)

I watched it and agreed, and a month later, we had a foam roller of our very own.  We've each used it over the past few days, and oooooh.  Oh, my word.  It does all those things I listed in the first bullet point up there, plus helped me figure out that this weird shooting pain in my left leg was actually coming from my medial glute muscle; a couple days of rolling and it's almost gone.  I'm finally able to do a full forward bend again in yoga.  I've been rolling around on it in the evenings and go to bed feeling like putty.  The lady in the video calls it self-massage, and that's exactly how it feels, plus it does all this other stuff I can't usually be bothered with like strengthening my core.  

If you already have a foam roller, first of all, name it.  Second, tell me your roller's name.  Third, roll along with the video; she works you from tip to toe, front to back.  I had no idea my quads were so tight until I obeyed Madame Roller.  They were practically crying in relief from all the released tension.

Have you tried a foam roller?  Any other name suggestions for our beloved roller?


  1. I'm curious how hard/dense the one you got is?

    When my hips first started bothering me, I didn't know it was arthritis --I thought it was just muscle and stretching problems. A colleague who is a runner recommended a foam roller to me. So, I purchased one (this was about 5 years ago). There didn't appear to be any differences in density when I was buying it --there was really just one foam roller that I could find. And it turned out to be about as hard as a rock. Between the hip issues, and how darn hard this thing is, I was not able to use it.

    Does yours have any give to it? Because the idea sounds great, but my experience of it was definitely not :-)

    1. Ours is a high-density roller (no give at all), which was a very conscious decision on our part; first because we knew Derek and I would be sharing it, and he's big enough we didn't want the material breaking down in a hurry (see: every mattress we have ever owned); second, when it comes to massage and any kind of muscle manipulation I don't want surface level stuff, I want deep-tissue; third, neither of us have any history of arthritis and are both exercise enthusiasts, so we both experience sore muscles and activity-related injuries on a pretty regular basis.
      I'm curious as to whether your physical therapist had different density rollers in their office- I know they often do. It would be great if you could try one of the softer ones before you went out and made another (painful) purchase.

    2. I've never encountered a roller in any physical therapy I did. The therapist did do some massage at times, but just pressure stuff. At this point, my main exercise is swimming, so I don't really have sore muscles :-) If I ever decided to get another one, I think I'd see if I could find them at a store and squish them first!

  2. 1. I do have a foam roller! Have I never told you to get one? My bad. I'm glad you got one.
    2. I've never named it which is odd for two reasons. The first being that I often tweet about having a hot date with my foam roller (everyone that follows me on Twitter understands) so it would stand to reason that I should name a thing I spend so much time with. The second being that I name random things all the time. Case in point- We pulled into a parking lot and I spied a small purple car. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the letter M and thought that it was called Marge. Turns out it was really a Mazda but I couldn't shake the name. Marge really fit that car.
    3. Your boys will be able to find infinite uses for such an instrument besides the intended purpose. Just a heads up.
    Oh, foam roller, I could go on...


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