Foam Roller

I know it is a pie-in-the-sky goal, but I plan on running the New York Marathon this coming November. (Yes, I am due in early/mid/late May. Big dreams, but I am going to MAKE IT HAPPEN!) So, in order to prepare myself, I just started stretching and rolling more. My thought process is that the roller will help me get used to stretching NOW so that come July/August when I start hard core running, I will be more flexible and less likely to get injured, and training will be “easy”…. Makes sense, right?

Foam roller

Foam Roller. If it were bright magenta or turquoise, one could easily mistake it for a pool toy.

We have had a foam roller stashed away in the hall closet for at least 2 years. And yet until last week, I had never actually used it. I always *wanted* to, but somehow, never got around to it. Last week, however, I decided to buck up and become a woman and use it. And let me tell you, it KILLS. Like you want to scream and holler and hit someone because it is so painful. From all my various activities, my muscles are so tense and tight that this little sucker of foam kicks my tush.

The pain!

AHHH! The pain!!! Hello, tush!


My favorite (and also least favorite) stretch. I have a love-hate relationship with this piece of foam. Hello, belly!

This cylinder piece of foam (looks like a pool toy) is a tool for self massage.  It not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesions. You use your own body weight, pressing on the foam roller in different positions (for different parts of your body) which then breaks up trigger points, and soothes tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues. You can also use it after a hard workout, and it promotes recovery. Amazing, right?

family activity

Family activity -- fun for all.

You can buy foam rollers online here and check out these slides here and videos here for some foam roller exercises. Read an article in Running Times for specific exercises for runners and the benefits of the foam roller.


My quads are always tight -- so this one is incredibly beneficial (and painful!)


This ITB stretch is incredibly important for most athletes, but especially runners! It kills like a mo fo!

So if you hear someone screaming every night in deep pain, that is probably me, rolling around on the foam roller. I am going to do it everyday…..I really need to!

CKN on foam roller

Even little boys like to use the foam roller!

Until Wednesday, have a great start of the week.

Anika Yael Natori, aka The Josie Girl.

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Josie Girl


  1. The foam roller has done wonders for my flexibility. I hate stretching, but something about using the roller is easy (although it does hurt like hell). I HIGHLY suggest these for anyone who needs to improve their flexibility, but finds it hard to stretch traditionally.

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