Coaches 2 cents: The best $3 a gal who runs, can spend
“Running is a free sport.”
– said a jogger.
Sure it’s free just add: race bib fees, travel, that expo jacket you had to have, GPS watches, fuel, protein, run friendly headphones, gu, glide, foam rollers, super fancy gluten free-electrolyte clad waters, sunscreen, visor, socks, gloves, clothes (moisture wicking, absorbing, dry fit, reflective, with pockets), water bottles, water belts, pancakes, (still reading?) compression wear, socks with arch support, gloves, insoles, the list goes on and we didn’t even get to every gals favorite … shoes!
Yes! We love shoes! So now that we have your attention… you really need NONE of these things, if you can’t run, so lets get back to basics for $3.
The best analogy we can give, or have heard given to runner to comprehend the importance of lacrosse ball starts with your shoes. Imagine your shoes laces tied in double knot, very tightly. Annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry. If we keep pulling and tugging at the ends of the laces, the knot in the middle gets tighter right? If what we want to do is loosen the knot, we all know that a slow, patient, not rushed kneading motion will losen the knot, allowing it to go back to it’s original untied status. Muscles are very similar. If we keep using them without some release of the knots, they get tighter, or snap.
So, with all the motivating and necessary investments that make running easier, more fun, fashionable, or effective, whatever the motivator, we are big believer in $3 that can come out of your shoe fund, to keep you in your running shoes longer and save you a lot time in the long run (pun intended). You can find one at your neighborhood sports store, your nephews lacrosse bag, or Amazon.
Here’s how to DIY Myofascial release (AKA use your lacrosse ball):
Sit on a hard floor or surface and place the lacrosse all under your glute region, one side a time.
If the ball is on the right glute, cross your leg over your left leg and place hands behind you on the ground for support. Lift your body weight off the ground slightly and began making small circular movements on the posterior of the hoop. Slow and repeat over tender spots.
Why: Increased flexibility and mobility in the glutes and hips
Moving on down…..
The lacrosse ball can get into those tight calves in two ways: calf smash + calf roll
Coming into a ball on your toes, in a sort of crouched position, is a good way to start a calf smash. Place the ball between the back of you calf and the back of your hamstring that is touching your clalf, then apply pressure. Try the ball in few different spots, then stand and see the difference.
Seated legs outstretched in front of you place the ball under one calf and cross the other leg over. Hands placed behind you for support, slowly roll the call under the calf.
Why: Tight calves, can create tight feet muscles, and pull the knee. That is two very good weighted reasons to release those calves. We could continue, but that is plenty right there.
Our most favorite use the lacrosse bell, not only helps prevent tight arches, but it releases the calves, and the prevents pulling of the IT bands and supporting knee muscles.
Place the ball under one foot (best in socks or barefoot) and slowly roll the ball while applying pressure. Stand firm on the other leg. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Why: You can’t run (or walk) without your feet. Think of how much you use your feet in a day. A lot right? So the least we can, and must do, is give them a break. A literal break in tight muscle fibers and even helps loosen hamstrings!
Why 2.0: Ever heard of Planter Fasciitis? Yes: then you know how using a lacrosse ball prevents the tightening of your arches and it’s a must do! No? Lucky you, and we hope you never have to experiecne PF…so trust any runner who has had it, losing your feet helps prevent it, and everything above them in the meantime!
To “top” it off, here’s a bonus use for your $3 investment:
Standing against a clear and clean wall, place the ball between you and wall at your shoulder, while your back faces the wall. Slowey apply pressure by backing up into the ball again the small, and make small circular motions. Ok to do in an office and / or work setting.
Why: So much of stress and tension from driving, sitting, working, is held in our back and neck — enjoy this one!
Lying face down the ground with your forearms outstretched in front of you, stomach resting on the ground, place the ball 2 inches from the left or right of you belly button, and slightly below. Roll the ball down towards your femur.
Why: The psoas, is more than fun to say, it’s the most powerful hip flexor in the body, and used in EVERY single running stride.
We hope you more use out of your beloved running shoes and:
- Get your lacrosse ball right now
- Make it a habit of practicing these recovery techniques daily
- See why we don’t leave home without it, added bonus: it’s easy to pack!
Happy running, and rolling…