I’m in a bad relationship. Unfortunately, it’s not the other party’s fault. I know it’s cliché to say but…..it truly is the “It’s not you, it’s me” situation.
They say that you should treat things the same way that you would like to be treated, but when I see it I’m cringing, I cancel scheduled dates last minute or sadly I pretend it’s not there when it’s in the same room as me.
I’m talking about my foam roller.
While I know it is good to me, I’ve found someone better. I know there are so many benefits but I’m really digging what I’ve found.
Watch below for some insanely awesome alternatives to foam rolling that can help keep you injury free throughout the season. Even better, you probably already own them or have it in your house right now!
Lacrosse Ball/Blue Balls™
I keep these balls in my purse. No really!
Where? Booty (particularly Piriformis, Gluteus maximus/minimus), Calves, Feet, and Upper/lower Back
When? The turnover of your legs doesn’t feel as sharp when you run, you feel like you may be getting shin splints (tight calves) or you have general discomfort in your glutes, feet, IT band etc.
Why? As with foam rolling, using these two tools can help with increasing blood flow to your muscles and while also elongating muscles to improve body mechanics.
How? Sit your glutes on the lacrosse ball or Blue Balls™ in a figure 4 position (one foot on top of the opposite knee) and roll to find tight muscles. Once found (and trust me….you’ll know!), hold for 20-30 seconds. Same for calves, feet and back. I find the Blue Balls™ work particularly well for plantar fasciitis since I can kill two birds with one stone by doing both feet at once instead of one at a time.
You told yourself that you would take up golf to get ahead at work. Now it sits under your office desk 24-7.
Where? Feet, Upper and Lower back/Lumbar
When? When you hear those two dreadful words “Plantar Fasciitis” or that kink in your upper back and shoulder blades just won’t subside.
Why? Keep the base that keeps you standing, running, and biking protected!
How? Roll the golf ball (you can even freeze it!) under your feet and hold when you find the tight spots in your fascia. Release after 15-30 seconds. For your back, put the golf ball inside a sock and firmly rest against a wall. Roll around slowly finding the tight spots by your shoulder blades and neck being careful of your spine.
Soft ball/ 2lb/4lb medicine ball/Super Nova mobility WOD
Your days in the sandlot are over, but you still have your glove from when you were nine in your closet.
Where? Popliteus (the muscle behind your knee) and Iliopsoas (hip flexors)
When? You won’t really know the popliteus is tight and just how important it is until you try this out! Hip flexors are starting to feel tight or you notice that you have a posterior tilt (pelvis tilted back, glutes lifted).
Why? Hip flexors are generally tight for runners and triathletes so this is an important one to increase range of motion for the bike to run.
How? You can find the Supernova online here!
Expensive? Kind of. More expensive than your weekly visit to the chiropractor/massage therapist? Yeah that’s what I thought! Go get it and lay onto the ball almost in a plank position on your right hip with your right knee at 90 degree angle.
Frozen water bottle/Glass bottle
Pop one in the freezer right now! It will be ready for you tomorrow to try this out.
Where? Bottom of feet, IT band and calves
When? If you’re a runner, then you should be already be using the foam roller on your IT band to prevent injuries!
Why? Try it on your feet and calves and begin to feel the difference in your run stride and cadence.