I was introduced last fall to that mysterious friend of all runners (and athletes in general): the foam roller.
I didn't know anything could hurt so much and yet feel so good! My foam roller and I have spent hours together in the last 9 months. He has even traveled with me to Disney World. We make a good team - I am faithful to him, and he keeps me feeling good.
As my body has loosened up over this past year, and I've gained more flexibility, I have started to notice some tightness in places which aren't easily reached using my dear foam roller. A few weeks ago at the free yoga class I took, I was introduced to a new friend.
Meet Mr. Tennis Ball!
I use Mr. Tennis Ball in one of two ways. I begin by sitting on him and rolling around. This produces noises and facial expressions that make my husband question what exactly may be going on. Once I have finished sitting on each "side" using my new friend, then I stand up and roll the bottom of my foot over him. I can feel little crackles and pops while doing this that remind me of how it feels when I visit my massage therapist, something that has had to become less and less of a regular occurrence due to cost. These two new activities are proving to be very beneficial in my overall recovery! ;)
OK, all joking aside... the tennis ball is really doing great work on my tight glutes. I have been experiencing some tightness in my left hamstring and I believe it's due to tight quads and hamstrings on that side. So now I am continuing to roll the IT Band and hamstrings, and I have also begun to roll my calves as well. And then I'm rolling my glutes and the bottom of my foot on the tennis ball! LOL