July 22, 2024

Why YOU should be using the Foam Roller by Charlene Ragsdale

If you are an athlete – you most likely will suffer from aches and pains at some point. It’s a mixed blessing. Sore muscles are proof that you are getting stronger, but on the other hand, it can cause a great deal of uncomfortable stiffness which can affect your sleep, work and daily lives. As an endurance runner, I learned of the benefits of foam rolling, early on my career. Foam Rolling is now a part of my daily plan and I recommend it to my coaching clients.

What is a foam roller? A long, hard Styrofoam or rubber-like tube. You will notice many use it at the gym or at an athletic event.

Why foam roll?
Helps prevent common injuries. One of the most important reasons for a regular foam-rolling routine is to prevent those too common exercise-related injuries. Foam rolling every day ensures you are massaging away buildup in your muscles.
Keeps you flexible & limber. Building up your flexibility is key for any athletic and fitness routine. Stretching and massaging your muscles can help combat tightness experienced from sitting after exercise for example.  

Things NOT to do with Foam Rolling
Never roll on the bone, only the muscles. This is particularly true with the shin area.  Roll off to the side of the shin bone, not right on the shin. Rolling is for muslces, tissues and ligaments, not for bones.
Never roll after icing.  Always roll PRE-icing.  Never roll on icey-cold muscles, but you can roll after a massage or heating pad. 

Rolling can be a wonderful part of your day, whether its a workout day or a rest-day.  It helps eliminate the kinks and knots in your back/neck, after exercise and also after a long day sitting at your desk.  As an athlete – rolling is essential, not a luxury.

Charlene Ragsdale is a RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist and member of the USATF Master’s All-American Team. She can often be seen at on the podium as a frequent Age Division & Overall Winner in several distances. She lives with her Chef husband, two sons and two dogs in Las Vegas, NV. You can follow her at her blog:  www.RunningWithCharlene.com