A helpful piece of equipment for increasing flexibility, circulation, and getting the body in great working order is a 3′ long X 6″ wide Foam Roller.
While working a long stint on Tavarua a few years ago, had the opportunity to train with a trapeze artist from Cirque De Sole who taught me a radical stretch routine and turned me on to Foam Rollers. Been using one on a regular basis ever since.
Foam Rollers are great surf trip travel companions because they’re light and can be cut in half to fit in your boardbag. They’re even more convenient to keep under your bed at home. Use it in the morning to stimulate blood-flow, and in the evening to rehab and align your body.
3′ long X 6″ wide Foam Rollers are the most popular size, and an inexpensive alternative to visiting a massage therapist.
Key points for specific Foam Roller exercises:
1. Roll back and forth across the painful or stiff area for 60 seconds.
2. Spend extra time directly over the knot or trigger point itself.
3. Roll the injured area two to three time a day. For prevention of injuries, two to three times a week is recommended.
4. Avoid rolling over bony areas.
5. Always stretch the area following foam rolling.
IT band Foam Roller exercises are my personal favorite. They’re incredibly helpful in preventing injuries and increasing flexibility. Stretching the IT band is one of the best things you can do to recover from knee injuries.
Lie sideways with the foam roller under the side of your thigh. Roll between your knee and your hip bone. Spend extra time on the more tender areas you encounter. Use your top leg and foot against the ground to decrease the force if you cannot tolerate the pressure initially. After a few days of rolling, your IT Band will loosen up and you should be able to tolerate full pressure (feet together off the ground).
Click for a detailed guide that runs through popular Foam Roller exercises.