Let me introduce you to one of my BEST friends...
This little slice of heaven is called the "Foam Roller."
It may not look like much, but its made of foam (captain obvious provided that one), its a hard foam, much harder than a pool noodle. Its about 6 inches in diameter and the one we have at our house is 3' long. This simple piece of equipment is absolute genius and they are now pretty much seen in any gym or conditioning space.
Basically what you do with this, is roll on it. You use your body weight to apply pressure and you lie on it, sit on it, or put your leg on it and you slowly roll up and down your back, quads, hamstrings or calves. Some people use it before a workout, some after. I have a tendency to use it only when I am sore, which actually should change, as it can help prevent soreness if used before a workout and before soreness sets in. Its hard to get your upper body with this thing, but for your back and large muscle groups in your legs its dynamite!
I found this great article by Mike Boyle. He is a world renowned Strength and Conditioning Coach and has trained many professional athletes. He tours around speaking about his techniques and achievements. He actually opened a new gym in Woburn a few years ago to replace his older facility and I had the pleasure of designing for him at my last job. Never got a chance to meet him, but his facilities are amazing.
Anyway... the article is HERE. He talks about the foam roller, what it is and how you use it. About halfway through the article he describes a few different techniques and what muscles the movement will target. Manly he says that when the athlete uses the roller, they will "find" the sore spots even if these techniques arent used. Here is a pic I found somewhere else of a woman using it... feels awkward at first, but you get the hang of it.
So... why on earth am I writing about this. Well my friends, because I am sore, sore, sore. Yesterday after our workout, which was AWESOME, Hubs and I came home had our breakfast, and than got moving on what we had to do for the day. My calves were already feeling those sprints (hello karma nice to see you again). We took 100 flights up and down the stairs to bring all those salvation army boxes from the cellar to the back deck, than moved the truck around to load them in. We than took 100 flights down the deck steps and the little hill and loaded it up. Off to Salvation Army we went. We arrived at the warehouse, unloaded all the boxes and as we drove away I couldnt help but feel anxious that I just got rid of all that stuff, and at the same time my shoulders, arms, back and legs... were feeling the mornings workout again!
We had to grocery shop for dinner and todays cookout, so we stopped at the grocery store, and the liquor store. As this was going on I could feel my body getting more and more sore and fatigued. Got home, and back to the basement I went (Hubs went to get the propane tanks filled). I had to collapse all the cardboard boxes left down there, because I have a perpetual "box saving problem" and bring them all back upstairs to take to the dumpster. I figured I might as well finish what I started, I was dripping with sweat for the 4th time of the day anyway! Trips number 201, 202 and 203 up and down the stairs!!
Honestly I was so tired at this point I think I could have curled up and fallen asleep. It was only 4:00! I really pushed and pushed and pushed (see, I do say that every day) during my workout. It took so much out of me! I am so proud of myself about what I was able to push in my weights.. I feel strong, I feel powerful. I didnt want to settle with "easy" and really wanted to push myself to the max and out of my comfort zone. This includes the sprints. I pumped my arms as hard as I could and ran as fast as I could... I can feel it for sure!
I got everything ready for the cookout, made my home made cole slaw (its the BEST) and corn salad... when I was using the mandolin to slice the cabbage and onion I was laughing at myself and Hubs was teasing me about the soreness in my shoulders, arms and back! It was hard work!! Haha!! Finally time for a hot shower and a beer. Ahhhhhhhh.... for the first time of the day I wasnt sore!!
This morning, the foam roller... my best friend... is in good use. Holy moses were my calves sore when I woke up! We are off for a great and wonderful day filled with friends and family for a cookout at my parents house. I am sure volleyball will be played, and I am sure I will forget about the soreness till we are on our way home. If you recall I have written in previous posts about being a 2nd day person... which means tomorrow ought to be a trip!!
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone! And hey... if you want a foam roller we got ours on Amazon.com. Worth every penny.