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For some reason, I always get calf stiffness during the colder months. I have experimented with a home-made roller (PVC pipe w/ensolite foam glued to it) and recently bought a nice trigger point one.
You can find plenty of videos on the TP website for how to use them, but they say nothing about before or after a run. Maybe it does not matter?
I have always done it after my exercise but that was based on advice from a friend. Never thought about doing it prior to exercise. Very good question, I look forward to other answers on this thread.
Well, after four weeks, I have settled into an after-workout roller routine. I mostly use it for my calves and it's done me a LOT of good.
Pretty uncomfortable - even painful - at first, but I'm getting better at it.
I foam roll, stretch and use a stick roller (I like “The Stick” which you can find on Amazon) after every single run, especially after long runs. I find that it helps significant with recovery in addition to general flexibility. I’ve had knee injuries caused by calf, IT band and hip tightness before and the stick helped significantly with my calves and IT band. Highly recommend!