Combine Your Roller Work With A Gentle Core Workout

Hi folks,

Fitness roller, trigger point, flexibility

The author and his 'rollers.' The large orange roller has the middle hardness of three (white = soft, black = hard). The smaller roller (left hand) and ball are part of my Trigger Point Performance kit.

I must admit that my rollers have helped my flexibility considerably. They are most effective when used both before and after runs. The trick is to workout which roller you use for which muscles, and for how long. You want tight muscles to ‘let go,’ whilst avoiding overdoing the rolling to the point of soreness. Areas of pain help to pinpoint where work needs to be done, which for me is always my shins, ileo-tibial bands, left quads, and calves. I also use the ball for my pelvic muscles, including glutes and pyriformis, which seem to tighten up routinely when I combine cycling, running and extensive kick board work in the pool.

In my experience, rollers are much more effective than stretching when it comes to lengthening strained muscles. I also use some simple Feldenkrais methods, especially for my hamstrings. I roll sore spots for a few minutes, working slowly towards the most painful places, such as my IT bands. Just go easy, work your way in, and you’ll be surprised how this method improves your enjoyment of running. Here is a nice video showing the use of the large foam roller.

I was encouraged in this endeavor by my eldest son, Nick, who is a great supporter of the Chez Ollie equipment. My large rollers can be found at I promote these products because they work, and for no other reason. Sure am glad someone came up with the roller idea. Furthermore, if you focus on your core, Pilates-style, you’ll get a great core workout at the same time.

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. I liked the video. It really helped me to see it being done by someone else! Good information.

  2. Guys,

    I can not emphasize enough how important rolling (deep tissue / trigger point massage) and stretching are. If you had to only pick one it would be the rolling/trigger point.

    I believe that most of us see injuries as point in time events that heal and we are past them. After that it should just be fixed for good. Those of us that do this are coming at these problems with the mindset we had in our teens and early 20s. Back then stuff just worked and no maintenance was required.

    In my early 40s I had a major “aha” kind of moment about aging and injuries. This is obvious but to me it was a critical shift in the way I think about sports injuries. Here it is…. After about age 25 our muscles, tendons, and fascia slowly begin the process of tightening with the end result being that we end up hobbling around in our later years. This process does not stop and exercise alone does NOT address it. This is made even worse by desk jobs!

    This creeps up on folks and by the 40s we are primed for all sorts of sports injuries. I also believe that most of these injuries involve referred type pain. For example one of my knee problems was actually a hip / psoas problem but I was not awake enough to notice. I spent many years trying to find a solution with experts, x-rays, and MRIs. I wanted the quick fix and to get right back to running.

    After about 6 Months of daily trigger point therapy my knee pain is GONE! My legs feel better now than they have in decades. In addition my legs are way stronger and able to tolerate intense weight training! The real take away though is not so much the cure as the need to adopt an ongoing maintenance plan. I know for a fact that if I do not use my trigger point set every day that my injuries will return.

    If I was 18 years old again I would laugh at this and just not get it. Just go to the gym train harder and get stronger. At 42 the important part is understanding what is going on with the body and applying the needed preventative maintenance.

    Stuff gets tight and if you don’t deal with it you will get sidelined. I believe that this is worse for men than it is for women. I also believe that some (the lucky few) people are to some extent immune to this problem.

    A few thoughts to get you thinking:

    – Pay attention to what most folks in their 80s bodies are like
    – Notice that we eat young animals not old ones
    – Notice how your young kids sit on the floor when they are playing or watching TV
    – If you feel pain in a given joint don’t always assume that it is a problem with the joint itself (though it is worth an x-ray + MRI to be sure)

    Nick 🙂

    • Kevin Morgan says

      Hi Nick,

      Important message here for my older readers at, so I’ll post your comment as is, along with the related post, on my new website. Let me know if you have any objections to that.

      Much appreciated.

      -k @FitOldDog

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.