As I told you guys yesterday, I’m officially announcing to
the world, our blog readers that I signed up to run a marathon. That means lots of training in my future and lots of running…and that means lots of muscle tightness, right?
Well, hopefully less muscle tightness after I get good at using my new DIY foam roller!
When I started upping my mileage, I knew I’d need to start foam rolling, as unpleasant as it is, so I went looking for a foam roller.
Did you guys know those are kind of expensive? Sheesh! Here’s one I found on Amazon for $20, but most I’ve seen in stores are closer to $30, or more!
I figured something this simple had to be DIYable, so Hubs and I set out to come up with a plan.
After a little research and brainstorming, we decided to use PVC pipe as our base. For an other foam layer, some sites suggested using an old yoga mat, which was a good idea except that I don’t have an old yoga map. I don’t even have a nice yoga mat, though it’s on my wish list.
So, we went with Plan B, a pool noodle.
Yup, we picked up this blue hollow noddle at Wal-Mart for about $4.50. (It was a nicer one. The cheaper ones were too skinny and squishy I think.) It’s great because it was already hollow so our pipe could just slide right in.
Now, making this was probably the easiest DIY project ever, so the following instructions might seem like the easiest tutorial ever.
1. Purchase your materials. We were buying some PVC pipe for another project we’re currently working on so we just made sure to get enough extra for me to make the foam roller. Getting the material home was a tight fit in my car.
We used 1 inch diameter for the inside of roller. It fit perfectly inside the noodle’s hollow center.
2. Cut the foam noodle to size.
I wanted the pipe to stick out a bit on each side so we could remove it, and I could use it as a handle if I wanted, rolling pin style. You can make it as big or small as you want. We went with 18 inches, which is pretty small for a foam roller, but it works for now. We have leftover noodle we could always use to make a bigger one if we wanted.
I used a little keyhole saw, which worked great.
3. Cut the pipe to size. We with 2 feet on the PVC, so it would stick out three inches on each side of the noodle. Hubs cut it with the table saw…on the ground.
4. Burn the end of the noodle to seal it. This step is optional, of course, but I didn’t want little blue flakes of foam to always be littering the floor after I rolled so I used a lighter to very carefully melt the cut end of the foam and seal it.
Much better. And totally worth the 30 seconds or so to do that.
5. Insert the PVC into the noodle. This is where we messed up on our first take. Hubs was twisting the noodle around the PVC to get it on (it’s a tight fit) and the pipe cut through the noodle in a spiral pattern and shaved off some of the inside.
It ended up looking like this:
So, we repeated steps 1-4 above and gave it another try. This time, he just forced it on straight and it worked like a charm.
I’ve used it a few times already and I like it…although it’s a love/hate relationship because boy, is it painful! Everything I’ve read online says it’s so so so good for my muscles, though, and it will get less painful as I do it more. Here’s to hoping that works!
It’s too big to fit in the little cabinet I keep all my other workout stuff in, sadly.
So, for now, he has a place of honor right in front. I’ll find a place for it eventually.
Have you ever used a foam roller? Ever wanted to make one? Ever ran a marathon? Let’s discuss!