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Using a Foam Roller
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After using a foam roller for several weeks (with some discomfort at first), I look forward after a hard ride, and before bedtime, to using it on my abused quadricepts and hamstring muscles.
I have also found that using the foam roller on my hamstrings prior to a ride helps the hamstrings stretch out better.
After about 5 weeks something unusual happened that had not happened after 5 months of prior stretching: my hamstrings began to “let go” during stretches, in other words, to stretch really nicely. I feel comfortable attributing this very substantial improvement to my continued use of a foam roller, helping break up adhesions and knotty tight areas in my leg muscles.
My advice is to seek out a personal trainer who can show you proper technique! Do not apply to joints or lower back, etc.
When there are small knotty areas in muscles, a foam roller can be uncomfortable; ease off slightly and persist. After a few weeks, most problem areas will be much happier.
When to use a foam roller
Probably a foam roller also helps to force out latent lactic acid after a hard workout.
Use a foam roller:
- After a workout, especially a hard workout;
- Prior to stretching, especially hamstrings;
- Prior to bed; the result is relaxing.