I’ve done a lot of stuff this past week…… and let me tell ya, I AM SORE! Following my last post – this seemed pretty necessary!

So how do you deal with muscle pain and muscle recovery??

IT Band rolling

Using my own experiences over the years, I can attribute a lot of my muscle health to foam rolling. I bring that thing EVERYWHERE. Of course, I do a lot of other things to help me recover after a long day at the pool, but I have found that foam rolling is cheap, easy to use and it feels great (at least for me!) Below is when I use the roller and what muscles I generally like to attack.


5 – 10 minute pre-practice rolling 

Foam Rolling in the morning (or before your workout) is a great way to activate your body while loosening up some of your soreness from the day before. Rolling prior to your workout has proven to increase your muscle mobility – which, in turn, will make you activate your muscles and joints, increase your QUALITY of movement and can help you prevent injury by being better prepared for your activity. 

Rolling for recovery

Thoracic Spine

Foam rolling post-practice removes lactic acid, breaks up fascia, increases flexibility of your muscles, increases blood flow and loosens up those tense area’s in your body (knots). Not only will you feel better post practice, you will feel better in the days to come because you will have reduced muscle soreness – which can help you perform better at your next training session! 

During this “recovery phase”, you’ll want to roll SLOWLY and really take your time to get to all of the muscles you’ve worked that day. I recommend rolling every area 8-12 times. 

Again, this really works for me and makes me feel like I am doing something nice for my body after working so hard during my training. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s ok! There are other techniques and ways to recover from a hard day such as, a protein filled snack, hot & cold baths, massages, physiotherapy and stretching etc. 

**If you have a current injury – do not roll directly on that section and if you are unsure, talk to your physiotherapist or doctor before rolling!**

          What muscles??

  • Thoracic spine (upper back)Lay with your upper back on the roller, rolling up and down. You might even feel a few pops!
  • IT Band (outside of thigh)Place the outside of your thigh on the roller, rolling from above your knee up into the hip.
  • Glutes (booty)Sit on the roller or on a ball, rolling in all directions!
  • QuadsOn your elbows or hands, place the front of your leg on the roller, roll up and down from above the knee to the hip – move around different sections to get all of these muscles!
  • Hamstring – with one leg crossed above the other, place roller under your leg lifting your bum up and rolling from above the knee to the Glute- then switch legs – You can also use a ball here. 
  • Adductor (groin) – on your elbows or hands- place the roller on the inside of your thigh, rolling from above the knee to the groin area. (should look like a frog stretch) 
  • Calves Sitting on the floor, place roller or ball under calf, bending and extending your leg.
  • FeetWith the ball under the arch of your foot, roll the inside, middle and outside of the bottoms of each foot.
  • Lats – laying on your side with your arm above your head, place roller under your shoulder. Roll up and down from below the shoulder to the bottom of the shoulder blade.
  • Shoulders Place the ball between you and a wall, find your sweet spot and either stay or move in all directions!

*all of these things need to be directed by your own personal feeling! You can use these as a starting point, but if you’re sore in other places – go to town!


Tailor your rolling to your needs and see what happens! Recover well my friends! 😊

Published by Claudia Holzner

Hello Everyone!! I am a synchronized swimmer on the Canadian National Team. Follow my blog to get an inside look at what it is like to be an elite athlete! Enjoy!!

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