They see me rollin', they hatin'. I love that song and every time I lay on the floor to foam roll it goes through my head. I wanted to spend a little bit of time touching on the benefits of foam rolling. Some of you may know that I have had issues with a tight IT band. I love running, but some times I end up running more than strength training and that leads to a tight/unhappy IT band.
Your IT (ileotibial) band is located on the outside of your hip. It connects your ileus to your tibia. When you do a repetitive motion again and again you can cause inflammation within this muscle. Running is a repetitive motion and is common reason for IT band syndrome.
Another name for "foam rolling" is self-myofascial release and this is basically a self massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. By applying this pressure to specific muscle points in your body you are able to help in the recovery of muscles. This can help them to return to their normal function more quickly. Muscles need to be elastic, healthy and ready to work quickly and efficiently. With over exertion you can put stress on these muscles and through foam rolling or self massage you are helping to release those trigger points and reestablish proper movement.
If you are wanting to start foam rolling you need to purchase a foam roller. You can find these at any local athletic store or purchase one online. I have one that stays in my living room and I use it when I am watching my TV. When I run, I find it helpful to foam roll each and every day. Even it is for a couple minutes per IT band. It is very helpful! There are tons of great exercises and videos online to help show you how to use your foam roller. The
If you want some more information on foam rolling and science behind it, CLICK HERE to check out a great article by Jeff Kuhland.