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Sunday, April 6, 2014

foam rolling, the sequel

I wrote about foam rolling for y'all once before.  Two years ago when I first bought mine, to be exact. Embarrassingly enough, even though that foam roller sat on a mat at the top of my stairs where I had to walk by it multiple times every day and even though I took the time to youtube all those foam rolling videos and even though I am a massage therapist licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and thus apparently should know better, I have never really used it all that much.

A few weeks ago, however, I tweaked my low back a bit and it really stiffened up on me in an annoying way.  I felt confident I wasn't injured, just super tight, and I really didn't want that to keep me from my usual workouts, especially since I'd so recently regained my mojo and gotten back into a good, regular routine. Foam rolling to the rescue! But not in the usual way. I'd been reading about people using it in their warmups, rather than, or in addition to, after their workouts.  Apparently this is indeed in line with current scientific thinking.  So I decided to try it, what with my gym having several foam rollers lying around.  They're not as hard and thick as the one I have at home (shut up), and one of them had what appeared to be someone's toenail clipping adhered to it (I don't even...), but they're conveniently there.  So now I go in, do a lil elliptical/crossramp to get the blood flowing, foam roll my back, glutes, and (occasionally when I'm feeling particularly masochistic) IT bands, then lift.  As the British say (at least on TV--don't mock me, British readers), it works a treat!  At the worst of my back stiffness--which has thankfully resolved--I was even foam rolling in between sets to get through my leg days.  Without the foam rolling, I'd have said fuck it and gone home.

If I had any doubts that this was the right path to take, they'd have been assuaged by the fact that Klokov rolls during his warmup.  Except that, y'know, he uses actual pipe.  Because he's Klokov and more badass than you or I or basically anyone.

Yes, yes, I know that's in Russian.  Klokov's in tights and an extremely snug shirt, basically putting his foot behind his shoulder. Do you REALLY need to know what he's saying?

I thought not.


I promise I'll stop talking about Klokov soon. As my friends know, I tend to get fascinated with a famous person and want to read all about them, discuss them, etc, then it passes.  Be glad you didn't have to live through my Jay-Z period.


  1. Somehow I do not think that foam-rolling my shoulder would be really useful. (Maybe not even possible.) I should count myself lucky that I've never had back trouble, but it's hard to remember with so many other stiff and painful parts.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  2. I think the generally accepted method to rolling one's smaller parts is to use a tennis ball. Actually the real recommendation is a lacrosse ball (for size and density) but as I said to a friend when discussing this, who the hell has a lacrosse ball lying around their house?

    1. I work with a teenager who is on his school lacrosse team…also the only tennis balls I have access to have been chewed by many dogs. Hm.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

  3. That is *obviously* a sign from the universe, LOLOL.