Yes it happened to me…again. On January 1st, I put together a plan of attack to get fit, fast! The gym membership was locked and loaded, my fridge was stocked with fresh veggies and ample ingredients for my protein shakes. Heck, I even treated myself to some sleek new leggings to make working out a stylish endeavor. But then, life happened. The aches and pains kicked in, and my will to exercise slowly checked out. Luckily, one of my homegirls (an active gym-goer who will not let my excuses fly) put me on to a simple and inexpensive piece of fitness equipment that changed my life, in and out of the gym, for only about $22. Yes girl, the foam roller is my new best friend.
I don’t know about you, but what usually keeps me from staying consistent with my workouts is the dreaded soreness I always feel when I haven’t worked out in a while. You know exactly what I’m talking about…the tight, cramping, barely-able-to-walk-a-flight of-stairs pain that somehow hurts worse the second day after. Just the thought of doing one more squat when your muscles are already tighter than a fresh set of cornrows is unbearable. Per my trainer’s instructions, I always put in plenty of stretching time pre and post-workout, but the LuxFit Premium High Density Foam Roller truly gave me the deep tissue TLC I had been missing. Getting up to work out again the next day is now way less of a challenge because of this small but mighty tool.
Foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, works by using the body’s natural response to release tension in the fascia layer (the connective tissue surrounding the muscles). By rolling your hips, legs, butt and back over the roller, those stubborn knots begin to loosen up – allowing for a more full range of motion. This especially comes in handy after heavy weight lifting or high intensity HIIT drills. Warning – foam rolling will not feel like a Swedish massage. The pressure can be intense and momentarily uncomfortable. But as I use it more routinely, it provides that “hurts so good” sensation that I actually look forward to after putting in work.
The foam roller also comes in very handy if you have chronic pain in a specific part of your body. For me, my knees tend to get especially achy with physical activity (chile, them ’30s…they’re something else!) I used to just grit through the pain and go back to my spin class for more. But times have changed! After using the roller post-workout, I find that the pain isn’t as intense the next day and I can usually hop right back into my routine full throttle with far less discomfort.
P.S., for those of us who work at a job where you’re mostly stationary during the day, that end of day back pain is no joke. The foam roller can be a solve for that too. Trust me…aspirin, epson salt and conventional stretching have got nothing on this.
If you’re looking to get all the mileage you can out of this super functional tool, it’s also great for strengthening your core – giving your daily push ups and planks that added boost. Click here for a thorough LuxFit tutorial on how to use a foam roller, and treat yourself to one via Amazon.