Billy doesn’t really love giving me a 45 minute massage after every single run. Plus, the fact that he has to touch my legs or feet that are drenched in sweat kind of makes another valid reason to skip giving me a massage………..so what does a girl do when she was really smart and forgot her Tiger Tail and Foam Roller (foam rolling movie HERE) at home for the summer……
A tennis ball. I am sure that many of you have seen this or done this before but it is always nice to have a little reminder of why?
Please do not make fun of my feet.
Why is it beneficial to roll out on a foam roller, use a tiger tail, tennis ball or get a massage if you are a runner?!?
-Easy answer: They help muscles to recover!
-Reduce aches and pains!
Basically, the act of applying pressure to areas such as the IT band, glutes, feet, hamstrings, quads, calves and upper back help to reduce the tightness of fibrous tissues and muscles. These tools just make it a lot easier to apply pressure in the areas that get really tight for us runners!!!
Foam rolling may be super uncomfortable at first but with time it feels better as your muscles and tissues are loosened up!
A lot of people recommend to foam roll BEFORE and AFTER a workout……but, for me I just do it after because if I try to do it before I may end up falling back asleep as I am laying on the ground.
Okay, I actually think I am going to start doing it BEFORE and AFTER and see if that helps my performance!
Do you FOAM ROLL, TIGER TAIL, OR TENNIS BALL before or after a run? Have you tried it? Do you think it helps your recovery?
Did you have a good workout today?
-YES…..love Monday workouts after a rest day!
yes I foam roll but I don’t love the one i have. I like the one at my gym a lot better…where did you get yours? I think the tiger tail is like what we have called the stick…good as well! Workout is tonight so we will see!
YES….I think the tiger tail is the same as the stick!! I got my foam roller through amazon (it is on the GEAR tab at the top) and I love it!! Have an amazing workout!!!
I just got a stick to use in the van for Hood to Coast. And I just got the fancy foam roller… The Grid. That thing is AWESOME!!!!! I’ll be working out tonight… hoping to run… keeping my fingers crossed :) And I sometimes use a lacrosse ball… way harder than a tennis ball… I like the pain :P
That is a great idea to get the stick for the van…you are going to rock the hood to coast!! I hope you have the BEST run tonight and GREAT idea on the lacrosse ball!
Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn
I loveeeee foam rolling! More like I love to hate it…ahah it is SO SO PAINFUL but it helps a tonnnn!!
Girl In The Pink
I have a foam roller and it has made SO much difference in my running! It’s such a simple invention, but is so magical – Who would of thunk it.
I haven’t worked out yet – ahhh I need to get going! I got a delayed start because I was catching up on past episodes of the bachelorette this morning haha…
I’ve had issues with plantar faciitis and I like to use a golf ball on the bottom of my foot. Hurts so good!!!
I need to try a golf ball….brilliant!! Plantar is awful, I am SORRY!
Alisa @ Runs with Knives
I also suffer from plantar faciitis, but have been using tennis balls for awhile now. I would have never thought about a golf ball! Going to try it tomorrow.
I use a foam roller after. I think I want to get a Tiger Tail/Stick, too. That would be handy to pack in a suitcase. (I suppose a tennis ball would be the very easiest to pack!) I’ve never rolled before a workout.
I ran this morning. I’m up to .9 mile! :-D I also walked 3 more miles and did 45 minutes of strength and core work. I actually did my first race since the fracture in April this weekend. I did a 5k – walked quickly the first 2.5 miles, then ran the last .6 to the finish. Felt great to be in a race again, but I admit I really wanted to run the whole thing, and it was tough to hold back.
KIM……CONGRATS!!! THAT IS AWESOME!!! I am so happy you were able to be back in the race again and proud of you for holding back:)
The whole holding back thing….It’s hard! As you well know!!! Not so bad on the days you don’t feel great, but Saturday my hip was feeling awesome, and I felt like I could’ve done so much more. I’m sitting here dealing with those thoughts this morning, too. I planned to bike, but it’s raining and lightning out. The hip feels good, so I am being tempted by my treadmill in the basement. I am only supposed to run a maximum of every other day, and today is not the day! I won’t do it…. But I know you know what it’s like. :)
My mantra at times like these is, “Do you want to be back on crutches?” That stops it!
Love love the stick. I have been using it for about a month on my calves (to help shin splints) and I was able to run the SF half yesterday with no pain! The stick is a life saver.
AHHHHHH CONGRATS on running the SF half…that is SO SO EXCITING and I am so happy that the stick helped with your shin splints!
Lauren @ Lauren and her life
i used the tennis ball after yoga sometimes. they keep them in the rooms at south boston yoga and its a god send.
God bless the foam roll. Know what else I just discovered that is so awesome? An ice bath.
ICE BATHS saved my life after long runs!
I use a rolling pin!! It works great for those hard to get muscles in your legs. and I use a golf ball for my foot.. It’s a little smaller and can really get in the arch of my foot :)
BRILLIANT…rolling pin and a golf ball…girl, you are SMART!
Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots
I want to get a foam roller so bad! It is definitely the next item I will be purchasing off my wish list! Thanks for the tennis ball tutorial, haha.
I love Monday workouts too!! I ran 6 miles and it always feels so good to be back running after my Sunday/rest day!!
I still haven’t used a foam roller before…but I’m going to my sisters tonight and may steal her husbands/use it while watching the Bachelorette!!
Have fun watching the Bachelorette while rolling:) CONGRATS on your six miles, you are amazing!
Allyson @ (so not) SuperRunnerMom
I love the idea of using what you have. I use a regular wooden rolling pin on my calf for my posterior tibial tendonitis and it has made a huge difference.
ROLLING PIN….that is BRILLIANT!
I didn’t have a frozen water bottle so I rolled my foot over a bottle of Bacardi.
BAHAHAHA That is awesome!
Kristin @ Everyday Is Run Day
LOVE my foam roller! I had been getting a lot of cramping in my upper left thigh when training for my half, so much that it stopped me mid-run some times. Foam roller did the trick! I use it every time I feel a tinge of cramping, but I should use it more often. It clearly does good things!
No workout today. Mondays are rest days, which means I have time for an extra helping of dinner!
ENJOY YOUR REST DAY and I am SO happy that the foam roller helped out your left thigh…wahooooo!
Michelle (The Runner's Plate)
I use a foam roller, The Stick, and a tennis ball regularly for massaging my muscles. Depending upon which muscle/muscle groups I want to massage dictates which item I use.
quads = The Stick
thutt & glutes = tennis ball
IT band = foam roller
I LOVE that you use each one for different things…you have it down to a science!
how ironic–i JUST ordered a tiger tail foam roller today :) after a 10-mile training run last week (first half EVER is in September!), i started having pain in my right leg. i tried massaging it (i’m a massage therapist!), which didn’t help, but my friend let me borrow her tiger tail and it felt awesome! so of course i had to get my own.
btw–just started reading your blog a few weeks ago, and can relate to SOOO much of what you write about, it’s almost crazy!! :)
my workout today consisted of an hour-long treadmill run (waaay too hot/humid to run outside–booooo), abs, and tons of stretching afterwards :)
NOOOOOO I am sorry about the pain in your leg but I am SO happy that the tiger tail helps and I love that you GOT ONE!!! Um, can you come be my massage therapist! Thank you so much for your sweet words….You made my day!! GREAT RUN and ABS…you are my hero!
awww, you are so sweet :) of course i would love to be your massage therapist, but pennsylvania is just a TAD far from your neck of the woods, right? seriously, though–massages are the best after a long run :) :)
tennis balls hurt more! but oh so good for ya. Let me know how the before and after rolling goes. I’m too impatient to roll before. haha.
I don’t foam roll as often as I should. I’m trying to be more consistent this season and more proactive in injury prevention. I have tight IT bands and a tight right calf. I’ve also thought about getting a cheap massage at a massage school. I can’t really fork out a ton of money for a massage so I figure a cheap one is better than none!
natalie @ southern fit foodie
I do think foam rolling is incredibly beneficial! I don’t have one at home, so I use a rolling pin. I know, I know, it sounds weird, but it works! Don’t worry, I have another one that I keep in the kitchen. We had an extra one, and I figured I could try it out.
I trained this morning and I did a workout with my client that I got from the Abs Diet book. It was okay, but I definitely need to make it harder. I also taught a Zumba class and a cardio dance class, and I’m headed out the door now for my final workout of the day – another Zumba class! :)
Holly @ Pink Runner
Obsessed with my foam roller. The tennis ball is a good travel idea!
Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner
I love all these ideas (from your post and the comments) about what to use i you don’t have a foam roller. Hubs does not think a foam roller is appropriate on vacations (weirdo, I know..) but I could definitely pack a tennis ball ,genius!
I love my foam roller, I only use my Stick on my feet. I stand up and roll my foot over it. I definitely have to try a golf ball. I roll my IT bands every morning and night when I am training for a race.
The Warrior Dash was sooooo much fun! When we got there I was really intimidated by the height of the cargo net we had to climb over since I have zero upper body strength but with most of the obstacles I was able to use my legs more than my arms. My hubby and I were both covered in mud and laughing our heads off. We are already planning for next year.
My boyfriend is a personal trainer, and so introduced me to the wonders of foam rolling. He was away interstate on the weekend of my first marathon (which made me saddddd), at a big fitness expo thing. To make it up to me, he brought me home a FOAM ROLLER! (that he got for like 40 bucks cheaper than in stores wahooooo!)
Last year for my birthday he got me a baseball to add to my collection of massaging tools. hahah it stays at work with me and is pretty much the only reason i can handle working a desk job!!
Love my foam roller. Rolling the heck out of my R calf now (my latest injury-sweet).
Kind of Off Topic, but I just want to say that you are looking REALLY good, Janae! I know you can’t run, but you look strong and fit from all of your cross-training. I can tell that the pump classes are making you BUFF. No more frail arms for you friend. You’re getting guns!
Girl, you absolutely made my day!!!! Thank you so much!!!
Good workout today! Ab Ripper X totally kicked my butt, but it was awesome! Elliptical after for 40 minutes :) Then some ice cream and coffee, yum <3 love you!
I haven’t used any of these before but I’ve been meaning to especially since I’m going into marathon training=/ My workout was good..thought I was going to die going up one of these Alabama hills though, I’m such a Florida girl!
i always say that if i had major $$, i would pay someone to stretch me every day and get a massage every 2nd day…since that’s not the case (!)…foam roller and the stick have to do! amazing, really, what a little foam rolling will do! i only roll after my w/o, too.
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey
I use tennis balls too! and golf balls – and my rolling pin. :)
I foam roll and have used a tennis ball for my feet. But for my legs, that’s genius! I wish I’d known about that a couple of weeks ago. Could have used it on vacation!
Kristen @ notsodomesticated
I haven’t foam rolled, but I’ve become more and more curious about it! I want to buy one, but I feel like I keep spending more and more money on running-related tools/gadgets/clothes/shoes/etc!!! It’s getting out of control!
Liz (Little Bitty Bakes)
I’m a foam rolling girl all the way! My brother uses field hockey balls – I guess they apply greater pressure than tennis balls. BTW, the DIY decorate your own slice of cake thing, awesome!
Brittany @ A Spoonful of Peanut Butter
Thats a good idea!! :) My workout today was awesome, my back is really feeling it! ouchies :P
Alisa @ Runs with Knives
I want to get a foam roller, but I just can’t decide on which one! I didn’t realize there would be so many varieties.
I bought a tiger tail type thing when I was half marathon training. I think I used it twice. I suck. Anyone want mine?
I bought a foam roller and was REALLy good about using it…for the first 2 weeks or so. I gotta get back on that! Also, where exactly is your IT band? I swear every time I try to look it up I get random different answers!
I use a tennis ball thingy, it hurts so good! It’s seriously amazing hough, I had a HUGE knot in my right quad that was applying way too much pressur eon my patella and I managed to mostly get rid of it with my ball rolling. I have chronically tight quads – as in it is insanely painful just to do a light stretch – so rolling is a must for me.
Keri @ Blue-Eyed Runner
What shoes are those?? They look almost like the NB ones I just got! Great idea with the tennis ball :)
Corey @ Learning Patience
I love using a foam roller to help relieve sore muscles. It really helps! Finally back home – so can’t wait to go a for a long run an have a kick butt workout today! xoxo from Trinidad!
If you feel like getting your truth out today –hop on over – http://thehinzadventures.blogspot.com/2011/08/truthful-tuesday-let-your-truth-out.html
yes those balls work great! Honestly my legs only hurt when I run in shoes :( I haven’t needed to use a foam or ball in a long time!!
ugh girl i NEEDED THIS! i have both the stick and a foam roller and i just never seem to make the time to do it and it is so so stupid because i think that would help my hips SO SO MUCH!
so thanks girl! you reminded me to kick my butt back into foam rolling action!
I just bought a stick a couple of months ago so I could take it with me in the van for my last relay – I always “forget” to use it now though! I do foam roll when I have time at the gym, but I need to take more time for it. I was diagnosed with plantar fascitis last summer and I still struggle with arch pain, so I use a golfball a lot to “roll” out my foot.
I had an excellent workout, despite the heat!! Glad yours went great!!
I’ve never used anything like that, but you have me really intrigued. I think I’m going to have to check it out!
I foam roll before and after my workouts… foam rolling before has made running so much more enjoyable! My legs feel so fresh and strong as soon as I hit the pavement. Definitely give it a try – whether it’s mental or physical – it has been a positive change in my running!
Thank you SO much for telling me that you do it before…..you are my motivation!
I have yet to purchase a foam rollar, probably should sometime soon. I am horrible about streaching, but now my foot is messed up and I am really taking percautions, I have started rolling a frozan water bottle under my foot several times a day along with lots of calf and ankle streaches. Gotta love the internet for all these great ideas!!
I am not a runner, but a hiker, a rock climber, skier and all around sports enthusiast. I think foam rolling is the only thing that has kept me healthy in the last few of my 53 years! OMG, it feels so good. It is clearly a MEDITATIVE practice as well. You really can learn ALOT about yourself and your body, where you hold the most stress, which muscles you overuse and just how pathetically unbalanced you really are! Go foam rolling!
WOW……..that is so so awesome!!! WOW, I have never thought of it as a meditative practice but it makes so much sense…I could not agree more with you!
Yes it is! Almost better than Yoga, cause it digs deep! Deep into your core, if you get the metaphors. It is probably why you don’t want to rush it. You know your body is speaking!! Check out my website, if you are interested more in what I like about it. I have a whole section on foam rolling.
WOW!!! Your website is amazing and has SO much valuable info….excuse me while I spend my next hour exploring it:)
I love my foam roll. It is a lifesaver! I also use a golf ball for my planta fascia. It hurts but it works! I’ve been having some pain in my arch and the only thing that helps is that darn golf ball. :) Who knew sports equipment would come in so handy for us runners?
I <3 foam rolling! It's an addiction and I am not ashamed.
I have to buy a new one though. I got mine at Target and it's broken down and lost form :(
I love the foam roller! I don’t know what i would do without it now that i have used it! I used to use a tennis ball on my trigger points on my shoulder back in the day!