Foam rolling is amazing. I already knew this, especially during my half marathon training, but I just had it reaffirmed. Drew said his ankle was bothering him, I kept telling him to roll his calves out. He didn't think it would help his ankle. Finally, I got it out while we were watching tv and rolled my own legs (just normal tightness from daily life). And then he grudgingly rolled his. When I asked him how it felt in the morning, he said he couldn't feel anything. So it worked, but he doesn't like to admit that I was right.
Most runners who have been running for any length of time sing the praises of foam rollers. If you are new to running, like we are, then it can be confusing. Why roll yourself out? It hurts. How do I do it? What kind should I get? We are by no means pros at running or foam rolling, but here are some resources to get you started.
This is the one we have, which came recommended by a good friend, and is available on amazon.com here. I hear this high-density roller one is better than the standard one, which is low density. It makes sense because it is pretty hard, which is great for rolling out your sore muscles. There are also a lot of ones with grooves and ridges which make for a more intense massage. There are also hand held ones for more focused work and you could use in the car or at work and not look like a fool. I haven't used any other ones yet, but I am sure we will as we keep running.
Here is a great infographic showing how to use your foam roller. We have mostly just done legs, but I think I'll be using it on my back as this pregnancy progresses. For you pregnant people, here is a video with some suggestions for rolling your low back pain away.
I'm not really providing any information that is new. There is so much information online with suggestions for exercises. It really will help your muscles release better than simply stretching. And remember not to roll over your bones, just muscle! The foam roller is not, however, a cure-all for injuries. There is a difference between rolling an injury and rolling muscles soreness or tightness. Hopefully you will have good experience with the foam roller.
Happy foam rolling!