Anyone who runs or exercises regularly is no stranger to tight muscles and getting “knots” in particular areas of their body. Foam rolling a problem area, known as a trigger point, can be a great way to relax muscles and loosen knots.
Most dedicated runners have learned to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Let’s face it: running is great exercise with multiple benefits, but to excel, you typically have to endure hard work, greater challenges and pushing your limits – all of which can create some discomfort along the way.
After a hard training session or race, sore muscles, fraught with knots and kinks, can impact runners. Trigger points are adhesions on the myofascia (soft tissue that covers muscle) that result when it is stressed, and can create tenderness and pain. Runners have found relief with foam rollers, such as the Trigger Point foam roller, which can help knead the myofascia and massage away stiffness.
Trigger points can occur all over the body, not just in a runner’s legs, and foam rollers are a way to self-treat. The beauty of the Trigger Point foam roller is that its dense, 3D surface is designed to replicate the feel of a massage therapist’s hands and promote the flow of blood and oxygen to help heal muscles and recover faster.
One easy way for runners to incorporate regular foam rolling is with the Octane Fitness SmartLink app for the Zero Runner. This free app, when downloaded to an iPad®, demonstrates a variety of stretches and positions on the foam roller to release tightness and restore range of motion. With video demonstrations and clear instructions, the app guides users to greater relief.
If you haven’t used a foam roller yet for trigger point massage, know that it usually is a “hurts so good” experience. To recover, you must use your body weight to apply pressure to the muscles and endure some discomfort before feeling relief. Don’t avoid foam rolling, but instead embrace it as an integral part of your training that ultimately will help you perform better and run longer.