Monday, April 13, 2009

Fit-Tool: The Foam Roller (Ahhh)

If I had the money, I would invest in two things....a daily massage and someone to change my sheets every night. Okay, the massage is pretty self-explanatory: It would feel soooo good to relax and recover from workouts with a rub-down every night. And the sheets? Well, that's just a weird obsession I have. I love the feel of crisp, clean sheets--I swear I sleep best on the nights I've just swapped in new ones.

But while I won't be getting a daily maid any time soon, I have figured out how to get a daily massage: with the foam roller. The tighter and stiffer I get when I'm in training, the better and better it feels. How it works: Place the foam roller on the floor and gently move your achy muscle along it in a slow, steady motion. Using your body weight, you can apply pressure to sensitive areas—loosening up knots you never knew you had. The more weight you put on the roller, the more intense the pressure.

I like to roll on it while watching the Today Show in the morning or after dinner at night. (Don't worry, my husband thinks this is just as strange as you do.) Seriously, it feels like a deep-tissue massage, minus the price tag. My quads and calves usually need the most attention, but you can use the same technique on your hamstrings, shins, back or whatever else feels tight. You can buy one for about $20 at PerformBetter.com. Photo grabbed from GetFitSource.com. Posted by Liz

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