Let me see that (muscle) roll

Whoa Gentle Reader. I just learned what a muscle knot actually is.
I mean, I figured it wasn’t a literal knot, since there’s no free end to tie, but I didn’t know exactly what else to imagine and had a vague image of, like, when you twist a rope so tightly that it hyper-twists back on itself, which is freaky when you think about that going on in your muscles,
But that’s not it, it’s worse.
My legs have been really stiff and cranky lately, probably from not stretching enough after spin class, which I’ve only been taking to increase my stamina for ballet class, so like that’s not cool, so I was googling “stretches for spin class” and a bunch of hits were talking about rolling out your muscles so then I was googling, “what the hell is so effing special about rolling out your damn muscles” and then I found out about adhesions.
Apparently your muscle fibers and the fascia that covers them can get stuck together. And when you stretch they just stay stuck together. So you use a foam roller or a ball or your thumbs or a massage therapist to break apart the stuck together parts.
Gross gross gross.
Gross.
Gross me out the door.
(Ok and some other sites said knots are little contractions within the muscle that kinda get stuck in the on position, so you roll them to get them to quit it)
So I went to the dollar store and got these:

20140318-155555.jpg
So we’ve got here a racquet ball (the blue one, came in a pack of two), some tennis balls, and the spiky yellow thing on the rope is actually a dog toy. The spikes feel nice underfoot, and the rope keeps the ball from rolling away. I looked in the laundry section hoping for some kind of fabric softener ball but struck out. I guess that’s a little fancy for the dollar store. Also looked for a pool noodle, but no luck.
The green ball and the orange ball actually belong to the boy.

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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20 Responses to Let me see that (muscle) roll

  1. RO says:

    I’ve been hearing a lot about this muscle rolling too.. and I’ve been experiencing some severe stretch mishaps on my right leg so I might give this a go! Dollar store it is then.. ;-)

  2. Katy says:

    It will change your life!

    Look up fascial release as well, it’s similar in that the idea is to allow the various layers within the body to slide across each other better.

    Plus you learn fun facts like hamstring stiffness can be caused by tension anywhere from your eyebrows to the soles of your feet!

  3. Yeah, I totally get this. And then you get a whole lot of lactic acid coming out of those stuck muscles. Makes your skin go really red and itchy. I love undoing them, though. Feels like heaven. :)

  4. guyenne says:

    The really bad muscle knots kinda feel like a knuckle joint at first, when the massage therapist hits them – just this really solid mass. It’s always a bit astonishing that they eventually get worked out, if you keep up with the therapist.

  5. The Stick. I should be paid for how often I refer them and people actually buy it.

  6. Janet says:

    My massage person and I are all to familiar with my knots, which are like rocks. I have a foam roller and ball at home. The blue one not the killer black one. They help some. My massage lady has invested in a wooden hammer and chisel (blunt) for the really bad ones. It makes the muscles vibrate deep inside the knot so that they break up easier. Not for home use, though.
    Your ball collection should help. Hopefully yours are not too painful. I don not wish my experience on anyone.

  7. My pre-class ritual start with rolling a tennis ball with my feet to massage the fascia. Apparently tight fascia on the bottom of your feet is directly related to tight calves and upward.

  8. A rolling pin is also magical, especially for rolling out your hamstrings and calves. I’d stay away from the dryer balls because they break in half as soon as you apply any pressure. Maybe I bought the cheap ones…

  9. Ashley says:

    Also, what works really well are lacrosse balls. They’re the same size as a tennis ball but they’re not fuzzy and they’re solid rubber all the way through. I keep about three in the freezer so they’re cold, which I then use on my shoulder knots or the soles of my feet when they are really painful. I swiped mine from the high school team that practiced in the park across the street, but I’m sure you can find them in sporting goods stores.

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