Foam rollers are the go-to choice for most runners when it comes to mobility work. While foam rollers are an effective way to perform self myofascial release, I love using things like golf, tennis and lacrosse balls as well. Balls are especially good for trigger points and getting deeper into the muscles and fascia.
I'm planning an ongoing series of videos for you with video tutorials on how to perform foam rolling and ball mobility work. Several weeks ago we reviewed how to foam roll the IT bands and today we move to the hips and glutes with a tutorial on how to use a lacrosse ball for release in these areas.
Hips and glutes are a pretty common area that runners need help with stretching and releasing. These body parts take a lot of hammering during your runs so it's important to do mobility work to keep them healthy and happy. I recommend this lacrosse ball technique for the hips along with stretches such as pigeon. And the glute work that I show you in this video is great for everyone, especially those with piriformis issues.
Remember these important mobility notes:
- This can be pretty intense, especially if you're new to it. Remember to breathe and embrace the "hurts so good" mantra!
- Go slow!
- When you find a knot or trigger point, hold for about 20-30 seconds, let it release and move on. Don't take more than a few passes at a tender area. You will only further the inflammation.
- It's normal to feel sensations radiate from the trigger point out to other parts of the body.
- Do this mobility work regularly but not constantly. Once a day or before/after runs should do the trick.
Jen DeCurtins is the content manager for Run Charlotte Run. She is a certified personal trainer, 200-hour registered yoga teacher, CrossFit coach, running enthusiast and food and fitness blogger at Peanut Butter Runner.