I had a client ask me a question today; she told me her lower calves were really bothering her, and asked me what she could do about it. I had just finished training her husband, and he was hanging in the room next door (inversion table). I hollered to him: “Your wife’s calves hurt! What should she do?”
“ROLL,” he bellowed.
Roll. I drill this into every one of my clients and athletes. Every single session I lead begins with a full soft-tissue assessment. I have clients use a lacrosse ball on their feet, pecs, traps, glutes, and calves. Any trouble areas get extra attention, otherwise we move right along.
I then have them use the foam roller on their calves, hamstrings, glutes, mid and upper back, lats, quads, and adductors. Same thing goes: an area with “hot spots” or knots gets more love, otherwise we are just providing a little increase in blood flow.
Oftentimes this is when a client realizes that they are sore. I usually start sessions with a question, either “how ya feeling today?” or an “are you sore anywhere?” This will dictate my programming for the days to come. Sometimes a client will tell me they’re fine… until they get on the roller.
At the bottom of this post you will find my recommendations for equipment. I always carry two green lacrosse balls with me. I use a 36” Amazon Basics foam roller. And lastly, it’s not my favorite piece of equipment, but it’s great for travel: The Mini Stick.
In addition to starting every session with the roller, I also recommend that clients get on the roller in between sessions to speed up recovery and avoid injury.
Several months ago, I went on YouTube to find a foam rolling tutorial to send to a remote client. I was shocked: there were NO good videos. They were either too long, too short, instructed people to roll something I wouldn’t (stay away from your IT band!) or missed a crucial spot.
The following video was made in my basement, with terrible lighting but I promise the content is on-point.
And here is one on lacrosse ball-ing:
Questions? Comment below!