Wednesday, September 14, 2011

EricG's Running Tips #24 Get Some Balls

My first ball!
Post run care is important. Stretching, ice baths, massage and so on. I wish I could get a massage every day, especially from my rock star massage therapist Noelle. Massage therapy however, is expensive and time consuming. So the next best thing is self massage right?

There are a number of tools geared to help make self massage more effective.  These include crazy vibrating things which I think are useless, The Stick and the Foam Roller. I am sure there are others but these are the ones I have used. I find The Stick to have very little impact because it's difficult to get leverage and it has too much flex. The one area I have found some success are on my calves. The Foam Roller works great but on limited areas as well, working best on my quads, hips and IT areas (I think because I can apply the most pressure). I like the black one in the foam roller link because I think the white version is too soft.

Roll me under your feet
Two of my most consistent problem areas are my glutes/sciatic pain and my feet.   What you need to do to massage these areas is...........GET SOME BALLS.  

I recall when running my first marathon, one of my co-workers Jordan, who happened to be a 2:50 marathoner told me to get a tennis ball after experiencing pain in my arches and butt.  I did and found it helped somewhat.  I would roll my feet on the ball or sit on it while at my desk working, or home watching TV.  In fact, I still have the original 2001 tennis ball in a drawer in my desk.  That however is where Penn stays.  I just don't find I can get enough pressure with all the give in my old friend.

Put me under your butt cheek
Now it's all about Rawlings and Titleist.  Roll your feet on a golf ball and you will experience pain pleasure like never before.  Place two baseballs under your butt cheeks while laying on the floor and simply work it out? WOW!!!  I have found this to be the best form of self massage for these areas.  Again, while I think massage therapy with the right therapist is the most reliable alternative, these tricks have helped me with maintenance between sessions.  By the way, Noelle is the one who told be to drop Penn and get some new balls.

Thanks Noelle.  Peace


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