I have spent the past month or so really dialed in to getting prepared for the upcoming ski season. At the ripe old age of 38 I did not want to be that guy on the slopes who goes hard his first day out and spends the next week walking around like his legs are welded at the knee.
The only downside to an intense focus on building a base of strength and explosive power around multi-part kettlebell movements and an array of core focused exercises is that I really feel it in my shoulders and hamstrings some mornings. As it gets colder, I feel it a little more.
If I were a rich man, I would rely on the trained fingers of a masseuse to work deep into the affected tissue and knead the soreness away. Alas, the closes I can get to a masseuse on a regular basis is begging my five year old son to pretend my back is a bed of hot coals and have him walk on me. Not a pretty picture.
Instead, I turn to a RumbleRoller Foam Roller:
The idea behind foam rolling is that it allows for myofascial release, which is a fancy way of saying applying gentle and sustained pressure to the connective tissue of one’s body for the purpose of relieving pain and/or restoring motion. Evidence of efficacy is apparently lacking in the scientific or medical journal world, but anecdotal and personal evidence abounds. I will tell you that I am a believer because I have seen and felt the impacts on my own body.
Using a RumbleRoller primarily on my upper back, shoulders, hamstrings, and calves has allowed me to recover quicker from resistance training. Furthermore, it has helped to restore range of motion and reduce pain in a shoulder that has suffered from severe tendonitis. I spend about five minutes, sometimes closer to ten, almost every night and it has made a world of difference as I trundle down the path of improved fitness. A “nubbed” roller like the RumbleRoller is preferable, in my opinion, because the raised bumps have enough height and spacing to really dig into pressure or trigger points.
The RumbleRoller comes in two densities: Original and Extra Crispy…er, Extra Firm. I own the Extra Firm version which may be a little aggressive for some users new to foam rolling or who have extremely sensitive deep tissue. I love the Extra Firm version because I feel that it really digs into the deep tissue to get at lingering soreness from a long day on the slopes or in the saddle.
Now, you may find people online who claim that myofascial release is the stuff of quackery, akin to homeopathy. This is not a treatment for all that ails you. Any treatment that claims to be the cure all for a grab bag of ills is likely a false prophet of wellness. However, for helping to relieve MSK pain and restore range of motion a tool like the RumbleRoller is a home run.
Note: I bought and paid for the RumbleRoller with my own funds and have received no compensation from RumbleRoller whatsoever.