Reintroducing Foam Rolling

by - Thursday, November 14, 2013

I have a friend who is suffering from some serious IT band issues. He definitely can't run and even the simple act of walking up and down a flight of stairs hurts.

He's been asking me for some advice on how to make it better because he knows I've been there, done that with IT band issues.

So of course I've been pointing him to every runner's favorite torture device: the foam roller.

Being a good little runner and busting out the foam roller.

I was first introduced to the foam roller in 2008 when I was in physical therapy in PA for some major runner's knee problems that related back to messed up IT bands and overall muscle imbalances in my lower body.

When I moved back to DC later that year and started experiencing the pain again, I decided I needed to invest in my own foam roller. I used to be really good about using it on a regular basis. But I have to say, I feel off the bandwagon and for a long time now, my foam roller has just been sitting in a closet waiting to be used.

All this talk with my friend about how he could fix his IT band reminded me that maybe as I'm easing my way back into running, I should also be putting in some time on the foam roller.

I can tell a lot of my muscles aren't happy with me as they are adjusting back to running. My calves have been insanely sore even after the shortest runs and my quads are taking a beating from the hills.

Trying out my new Pro Compression socks. Obviously love that they are bright pink! #fitfluential #keepittight

I've been wearing my compression socks the last few days to help with some of the calf soreness, and they've really seemed to help.

I haven't noticed any real signs of issues with my IT band, but I figure it doesn't hurt to use the foam roller to help prevent them from starting.

So after encouraging my friend to spend some time foam rolling every day, I decided to dig my foam roller out of the closet and did a quick session. And ohhh did it hurt so good. There were definitely a few small knots that had been building up and it felt good to try to work them out.

Other than muscle soreness though my running has been coming along really well. I've had no issues with my foot whatsoever. I'm looking forward to continuing to build my base this month before I ease into half marathon training in December.

Do you foam roll?

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  1. I had a bad IT band issue a year ago, and now I'm diving for the foam roller after most long runs. I'm trying to make it a habit. Makes a lot of difference.

  2. I'm much better at foam rolling after a long run than I am about doing it when I'm not running. The funny part about that is that I can't run now because of an issue with plantar fasciitis, and my doctor recommended stretching on a daily basis to help ease some of the pain. I'm sure foam rolling would help as well, but for me, it's just always something that only happens after runs. I really need to get back into it.

  3. I foam roll like a boss. I'm doing it 3, 4 even 5 times a day because of my IT band issues. Love (to hate) it!

  4. Before rolling IT Band, it s useful to release tension in TFL and Glut Max - two muscles that feed into IT Band. Tightness of these muscle often leads to IT Band tightness. In addition, you need to work on vastus lateralis - muscle that is deeper to IT Band and tightness of this muscle is oftentimes confused with IT Band tightness. Regular foam rolling of IT Band is ok, but it pushes IT Band against fairly sharp femur, Soma System has tools that make It Band rolling much more pleasant:

    And if you want to take your foam rolling to a much more educated level - check out Soma System educational programs: