A quick guide to some run or workout recovery:
Ever noticed that you’re a bit tighter after a run? Perhaps in the hips, feet, shins or even core?
The following are some simple and effective techniques to recover after a run so you can stay feeling mobile, fresh, injury-free, and ready for your next run.
Equipment needed: Lacrosse ball, foam roller, golf ball – or any combination of the three. And perhaps some deep breaths!
*Links to photo sources are provided above each image*
Standing up, use a golf ball or bouncy ball under the sole of the foot. Put some weight into it and roll the ball back and forth, up and down and across the bottom of the foot. Pause in areas where you feel particular tension and wait for the tension to soften, it may feel a bit crunchy or like bubble wrap under the arch of the foot – that is normal! Play around with flexing and extending the toes when you find an area of tension with the ball.
This can allow the bones of the foot to move a bit more freely, meaning all the awesome structures in your foot can do their job and give your body a better platform to move around on. Great for plantar fasciitis, shin splints, hamstring tension and even many hip issues.
Sitting slightly off to one side, place a lacrosse ball or therapy ball under one hip and basically roll around until you find a nice tender spot (there will be several, don’t worry!). Once there, pause for a moment and do your best to relax into the ball. Again, wait until you feel the tissue soften into the ball. From there, find a new spot and repeat. See if you can get through 3-4 places in each hip and experiment with where you can find places of tension. Don’t forget to breathe!
Lying on your stomach, start at the far end of your upper leg in the middle of your thigh just above your kneecap with your leg/foot on the floor. Again, breathe for a moment and allow the tension to soften into the ball/roller. When you are ready, with the ball/roller in place, bend your knee so that your foot comes up towards your rear end. Keep breathing! Release back down and repeat. Progressively move the ball in increments of an inch or two up towards the hips: soften & bend in each spot. I recommend doing a couple of different strips along the quad, along the front and sides. Enjoy free and loose legs when you stand up!
Seated on a chair, place the ball/roller under your leg of choice. Find a nice tight place to settle it and sit your weight into the ball. Once again, allow the tissue to soften around the ball/roller. When ready, extend the knee of the leg the ball is under, until your leg is straight. Bend it back down again and repeat, working the ball into any tight spots in that hamstring that you can find.
Upper Back Rolling:
Lying on your back with the foam roller perpendicular to your spine. Have your feet on the floor, knees bent with hips on the floor and start with the foam roller under the bottom of your ribs. Keeping hips in contact with the floor, place hands on the band of the head to support the neck and arch gently backwards over the roller. You may discover some snap, crackle and pops here! Flex back forward again, move hips towards feet so the roller moves UP the spine an inch or so towards the head and repeat, working up as far as you like and arching backwards in each spot.
Using these simple moves you can optimize recovery after runs (or most training, really) and feel great going into your next training day.
If you have any specific requests or questions regarding your needs or situation please let me know. I love sharing information and answering questions.
By: Chelsea Deschamps