Mobility is a huge topic, and this post isn’t even an introductory post. I just wanted to share some of my takeaways from the most recent mobility course I took (you’ll fine my #1 takeaway at this post here). I hope you find something useful here!
I’m linking up with My First 5K and More, Running With Attitude, Runs with Pugs, Zenaida and Run Laugh Eat Pie for Fit Five Friday. Today I am sharing a more about mobility — something every runner can use!
1: Roll fast before running
Rolling fast helps prep the body for movement. This is something I used to do in when I first started to foam roll, then I learned that you needed to roll slow and for a longer period of time — or so I thought.
Before a run, roll fast and for a short amount of time. If you have a vibrating roller/ball, now is the time to have it on medium or high (depending on what you can tolerate).
2: Roll slow for recovery
Rolling slow does have its place: after your run. This will help you kick start the recovery response.
If you have a vibrating roller/ball, now is the time to have it on low.
3: The smaller the tool, the deeper it goes
A wider tool (think foam roller) will not give you as much pressure as a narrower tool (a ball). If you’re new to foam rolling, start with a roller, for sure. Even that may be too much if you’re not used to it.
If you’re feeling a lot of pain, back off. You should feel some sensation, but not pain.
As you get used to myofascial release techniques, you may want to consider moving from a foam roller to a ball — although start with a larger one; maybe even a softer one. Your body will adapt to whatever you use eventually, but if it really feels painful to you, not only are you not helping yourself — you’re unlikely to be consistent.
You may try moving from a larger ball to smaller and smaller balls as you get used to the pressure.
4: Add in some Functional Mobility
Often when we feel pain somewhere, it’s because the opposite muscle is weak. Adding in some functional mobility during foam rolling can really help.
Tight calves? Foam roll the calves, stop at one point, and point and flex your foot. You can also try moving it from side to side. Notice what muscles you feel that movement in.
Rolling the quads? Stop, and bend and extend the leg you’re rolling.
5: Foam Rolling can actually help our proprieception
First, what is proprieception? The dictionary says proprieception is:
perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body
As a runner, I’m sure you can see why this might be important. I can tell you from a Yoga teacher standpoint, we often get into a posture and think our leg is way higher than it actually is, or straighter than it actually is. Try videoing or photographing yourself and you might be really surprised at what you see!
I was definitely surprised to see improved proprieception as one of the benefits of foam rolling!
Although I’d like to call myself an expert on mobility, I am not. I have learned quite a bit about it in the last few months, though, and I practice what I preach. I experiment, and if it helps me, I share it.
We are all an experiment of one. So give some of these things a try, if they pique your interest, and I hope that you find it helpful.
Did you learn something new about foam rolling?
Are you willing to try to change up what you’re already doing?
What do you do to work on your mobility?