Foam Rolling for Runners

By Marcia Kadens, Marcia’s Healthy Slice and #NOWWellness Influencer

#NOWWellness Influencer Marcia Kadens of @rundefinitely knows a thing or two about running. She’s a Boston Marathon finisher and International marathon runner, on a quest to conquer the Six World Marathon Majors.

Foam rolling for running recovery

Why is foam rolling beneficial for recovery? Well for starters, foam rolling can:

  • Increase circulation, and essentially act like a convenient and cheap massage
  • Help flush out toxins and lactic acid via increased circulation
  • Help increase flexibility because it massages the fascia surrounding the muscles, which is the connective tissue
  • Help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness and helps prevent injury

Marcia shares her top four foam rolling stretches

  1. IT Band
    The IT Band, or iliotibial band, is a thick tendon that runs along the outside of the thigh from the hip to the knee. IT Band soreness is common with runners, especially when you ramp up mileage too quickly or push yourself too hard too soon. Just simply run the roller up and down IT band to apply gentle pressure.
  2. Hamstrings
    To work the back of your thigh, act like you’re sitting on the roller and slowly roll down from underneath to the glutes to just above the knee joint. Slowly massage and take it up into the glutes, putting weight on the roller.
  3. Upper Back
    Slowly lay back on the roller, and let it go to the upper back to the neck to the shoulders. Make sure this is slow, controlled the movement, letting the pressure just ease into the back. Stop if you feel a knot or tight area.
  4. Quads
    Overworked quads are a pain point for runners. Lie facing the floor, on top of the roller, and take the roller up to the hip flexor and down to just above the knee.

It’s important to foam roll at your own pace. How often and how long you foam roll depends on how sore you are. Plus, there are also softer and harder rollers, too, so it’s best to test a few to determine what’s right for you.

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