Foam Roller … Friend or Foe?

I think it’s both. I have been curious about foam rollers for a while now, but I’ve never really taken the time to actually use one until recently. A few weeks back, one of my Piloxing girls invited me to join her on her training session, which ended with some foam rolling. During which I discovered that, apparently, my body is one big, giant adhesion. Yes, friends, I am quite possibly an even bigger mess than I initially thought.

That said, I decided that I’m going to start trying to fit a little rolling into my life. On Thursday, I stuck around for a bit after my cycle class – nothing too crazy, maybe 10 minutes – to work out some of the knots in my thighs. It hurt. It hurt good. But it was nothing compared to yesterday’s “rolling session,” if you will.

For some reason, I’ve been really motivated to stick around for some additional gym time following my Sunday classes. In all honesty, it’s probably because I’ve been feeling stretched a little thin lately, and after teaching two classes on Sunday morning  has been the only time I’ve been able to fit in a third lifting session during the week (I didn’t say it was sane). Yesterday, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was a little sore from my workout the day before. I was kind of tired.

Enter the foam roller. I have to say, I’m pretty sure I’m on the verge of developing a love-hate relationship with these things (my brother, Eric, an avid crossfitter and foam roller advocate, has already called dibs on a foam roller as his Christmas present to me, so I have a feeling there will be even more rolling coming). The pain of hitting a knot can be excruciating – there were definitely a few moments where I couldn’t decide if I wanted to cry, scream, or keep going (a few deep breaths and a promise that I was going to make it got me through) – and my legs felt like jello for the few hours that followed – but today? They felt great. And so did the run that went farther and faster that I’d intended for it to tonight (7.08 in an hour … and if the treadmill hadn’t stopped, I probably could have kept going).

So, foam roller – friend or foe? I think it depends on if it’s during or after. But the pain has proven to be completely worth it.

Weekend Workout Re-wind

So, here I am, another Monday … another day of sitting around waiting for this government shutdown to end (the week off has been nice, but I have to be honest … I’m ready to get back to work. Uncertainty and I are not friends). One thing I will say about this mess is that it has allowed me a little more flexibility in my workouts throughout the last week – not to mention getting a couple extra hours of sleep and hitting the gym at a less crowded hour.

It’s always nice when my workouts are a little less stressful (I know, the point is to REDUCE stress, but when you’re fighting for space – and the clock – sometimes that is not the case). It gives me a little time to get more in-tune with my body, and think about what I’m doing right, what I need to improve upon, and oftentimes, take in the surroundings as a result. That said, here are a few of my observations from the weekend:

  • People really don’t like the new stepmills. I wrote a post a few weeks back about the new Matrix stepmills XSport recently introduced. I decided to couple stairs with my leg workout on Saturday, and I have to say … it was kind of funny to see four old stepmills in use, and maybe two of the old ones. Personally, I like the old ones better – they have a lot more flexibility from a speed standpoint, giving you more variance in your workout.
  • PRAISE THE LORD, THEY BROUGHT BACK ESPN. Now, I know this is not something only I am college-football obsessed to care about. But maybe mid-August, XSport replaced ESPN with MASN (the Nationals baseball channel. YAWN.) Yes, they did still offer ESPN2, but let’s talk about my reaction Week 1 of college football season – the week College Game Day was at Clemson, my alma mater – when I discovered I would not be watching College Game Day during my workout. I freaked out a little. Or a lot. Oh, ESPN, how I’d missed you.
  • I seriously need to learn how to use a foam roller. My right hamstring has been unbelievably tight – to the point of almost being painful – for probably a couple months now. There was more equipment than should ever be in the studio for my Pilates class yesterday (though the Bosus, medicine balls and swiss balls did make for some interesting planks for my challengers), so I figured I’d try my hand (leg?) and trying to roll what I can only assume is a monster knot out of my leg. No such luck. I felt nothing, so clearly I’m not doing something right (on the flipside – literally – I think it did work out a little tension in my quads). Suggestions? Anyone?
  • And finally … I went golfing on Sunday. Why not, when it’s 85 degrees in October? I only played nine holes, and while it wasn’t terrible (okay, one hole I’m quite sure had it in for me, because I think I was over par before I made it off the tee) – I’d even call a few of my shots good – I could definitely still stand a little more practice. Maybe I should put that on my government shutdown how to keep myself entertained now that we’re a week in to-do list…

Hope you had a weekend of great workouts as well!