Why a foam roller can become your best friend

If you’ve never seen one of these before and immediately not associated it with pain then run. Run away very fast! 

Only kidding! Although this item causes much pain, it is so important with training and aiding recovery. It’s one of the many things I use to help me get over some serious DOMs and in the beginning of weights training (or if you’ve taken some time off from the gym) these are a life saver.

This got me thinking about how I’ve stepped up my training in the last year and started to really concentrate on tools for aiding recovery. So many of us just train and don’t think about some of the things we can do outside the gym to help us reach our goals. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of them that I use to help me recover after a hard gym session.

Get a cylinder of pain (aka roller)

Although I now regularly train and don’t get DOMs as often, in the beginning this cylinder of pain would have really helped. The thought of rolling on horrendously sore legs did not appeal to me (or anyone!) but it aids recovery and means you can walk a lot sooner. 

In the last few months I started to skip any rolling and started to notice niggles in my legs and general tightness. Reintroducing yoga and the roller really helped and now I’ve seen much more improvement in my squats for example. Also I can walk down stairs better after leg day now!

Get a massage (not that kind…)

I don’t mean those nice ones at spas where they have soothing music and candles. This is not like this. Expect pain. Like serious pain. You think you’re fine until they find a spot and then you know it’s going to hurt. When they find a spot and push it till it releases it is undoubtedly the nastiest and nicest feeling ever. It sounds horrible but you feel so much better afterwards and if you have any niggles then this professional can sort it out. I saw mine today about some aches down my left leg. Turns out it was referred pain from my lower back. Now the ache has gone and I didn’t notice before that my back was tight. I try to get one booked in every month and if you can fit it in then I recommend you do. 

Learn to do the downward dog 

I’m talking about yoga here 😜 I always thought it would be easy. They just stand around on one leg, how’s that difficult?! I was so so so wrong! It’s only when you try to do a dancer pose and the old man next to you is nailing it while you’ve nearly caused a life size version of dominoes, that you realise just how hard it is. It’s especially the case if you lift weights. Although fitter in some ways, instead you are not as flexible. But like a sports massage, it helps you to stretch your muscles. I suffer from very tight hamstrings and knowing some yoga poses massively helps to stretch me out. 

So those are my top tips! I hope they’re useful and if you have any of your own the let me know. I’m still learning here 😊


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