Basically, I use my own body weight to roll myself on it (rather than the other way around)!
That's the idea. Basically, if it feels really painful, that means you are probably doing it right. Find the place that hurts and grind away on it until it doesn't. It won't always be where you expect it. For example, if my back hurts, it probably means I need to roll my butt. If my knee hurts, I probably need to roll my quad. You'll figure it out.
I think my difficulty is with the fact that there’s no quick feedback. I want to use it to improve my mobility but it’s not like that gets better immediately. I can find spots with more discomfort on foam contact and really lay on the pressure, but then... I dunno. I don’t feel any different after I’m done. It could be that I’m doing it right and I just have to keep doing it for a month to see any improvements, but what if I’m not really doing it effectively? I do think a foam roller tutor session is probably a good idea.
I find it necessary to loosen up the non-painful spots also, because they can be even tighter than the ones which are complaining that they're being pulled sideways by the tightness, if that makes sense. Hamstring, ITB etc are all interconnected. So I actually end up writhing and groaning myself along the roller from butt/hip to ankle and back again, much to the bemusement of my faithful canine companion.
is my motivation and initial guide. I have a little trouble with the concept of tracking sensitivity on a scale from 0 to 10 since it seems more binary. Like, it's uncomfortable or it isn't. Need to keep experimenting.
Binary? I can think of at least three distinct levels. comfortable, uncomfortable and excruciating. But I don't think the numbers are a critical part of this.
Have not experienced anything excruciating... yet? There are some places that seem like they could benefit from attention in the lower back/glutes/upper hammies/upper quads region, so I'll keep at it, but I think most of my hip mobility improvements will really come from other exercises.
Where I do seem to already see improvement is in the flexibility of my left ankle by "rolling" a lot on the lower calf. That ankle has never been the same since I sprained it (in 2009) and I wouldn't be surprised if the reduced mobility there contributes to my lopsided hips/running gait. Also, pretty sure Louise told me to do this a couple of years ago so I 100% should have listened to her back then.
I'm with Charlie. As in:
Comfortable = Ah, that feels good. I should do this every day.
Uncomfortable = Hmm, this feels weird. I wonder if it's bad for me.
Excruciating = Unfortunately, this is probably really good for me.
I don't get to it very often but it does seem to make a difference.
Maybe when I'm old and broken like all of you I will find excruciating places.
You mean it's possible to do foam-rollering at a discomfort level other than excruciating?
I guess so! If it makes you feel better on Saturday I stubbed my little toe harder than I can ever remember and was reduced to a wailing puddle on the floor, so I do occasionally feel excruciating pain!
You don’t have one of those soft, smooth sissy foam rollers, do you? Sometimes they don’t sell the real ones to young people who look like they can’t handle it.