Monday, February 29, 2016


Working out every day can be a challenge because of muscle soreness. Some soreness is going to happen and you can keep going, but the sore quads (front of thigh) and calves that make it hard just to go up the stairs can keep you from working out the next day. Even worse for me are sore knees! I hurt one of my knees when I was 21 and the other one at 26, and when I work out a lot I feel like they are going to give out on me.

Well, I have a secret cure to share....
It's so simple it's crazy! All last fall my trainer said to roll my muscles when I complained that my knees hurt, and I did it every once in a while when it got really bad, but I didn't really believe it would help. Since the new year I have rolled 4 to 6 times a week and my knees haven't stopped me since! 

I really want to explain WHY and HOW this works, but...just google it: foam roller, or muscle rolling. You will also see lots of pictures of what to do and how to do it. Some of the exercise are really intimidating though, and might not be accessible for beginners, so I took pictures of how I do it.  

For the knees, the important muscle to roll is your IT band. 
Go all the way from hips to just above the knee joint. It's just above the knee where I get knots I need to work on. The hand on my hip is often on the floor for balance. 

The other main muscle I roll is the quads, and I do right in front along with just off to each side. 
(Confidence level: butt pictures! All of the pictures I've seen online of this don't make it clear how you support yourself with the other leg)

I also always need to roll my calves. 
The way I see other people get their calves rolled with a purvottanasana pose (backwards plank) is impossibly hard! I use my hand to push down to get enough pressure. 

It takes a little bit of practice to roll the back, but it helps a lot too. Doing bridge pulses is a good way to build up strength to be able to do this. Reposition for low back to high back. 
Watch your hair!

I just barely realized how to get my glutes. 
Before I tried to get them by just sitting on it and rolling, but I never felt that do anything. 

Each muscle I roll up and down about 5 times, and when a spot hurts I hold it there longer. You know you're doing good when it hurts so bad you feel a litte nauseous, that's a knot that you need to roll extra!

I'm probably missing some important muscles...write in the comments your favorite roll! Or your favorite stretches to help with soreness!

These foam rollers are in the stretching area at the gym. You can also buy them for $20-$30 at Target. Now you CAN work out every day! You're welcome. 

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