June 05, 2012

Homemade Foam Roller (for only $5!)

Jerry actually went for a run this morning. Yes, that is surprising. Ever since we did the interview with Jennifer and Angela, he's been talking about running and wanting to sign up for a 10K. He's done that before, but usually he's over it by Day 2. He ran once last week, and then again today. I'm glad that he's doing it! But now we're going to fight over who gets to do which races... ;)

I was going to buy a foam roller today, but I couldn't believe how expensive they are! I looked up alternatives online (because I'm too cheap to spend $30 on a piece of foam) and I found a do-it-yourself version. It's made with a PVC pipe, foam insulation, and duct tape.

Looked simple enough, so I bought the materials today. The man at the hardware store had a piece of pipe that was "scrap", so he sold it to me for $2. The insulation was $3, and I had duct tape at home. So for a grand total of $5, I made one hell of a foam roller...

It's obviously much sturdier than the ones at the store, so it'll never need to be replaced (foam rollers wear down over time). It's the perfect size, and it does the job well. I rolled out my IT band with it, and while it was very painful, I certainly hope that it will help.

Remember when I reviewed that book called The Swing, and I said I was going to try it out after the marathon? Well, that time has come. Yesterday, I read through the book again and practiced trying out the movement. I thought maybe I was doing it wrong, because it wasn't really hard. I didn't break a sweat or anything. But today, I am SUPER sore. I can feel every muscle in my back. I'm going to do it twice a week.
My kids had their first baseball games tonight. The games overlapped each other, so I was bummed I had to miss most of Noah's. My parents stayed with Noah and I took Eli to his game. Noah apparently had a great game--he hit three doubles, and he caught a pop fly (which isn't very common for kids his age!) My mom said the whole crowd was really impressed with him.

Noah is technically too young to be playing on his team--it's for 8-year olds, and he won't be 8 until July. But there was no way I was going to make him play t-ball again, because he's really good! I'm glad I put him on the coach-pitch team. Eli did really well at his game, too. How cute are they in their uniforms?! ;)

Yesterday, the Facebook page for the documentary From Fat to Finish Line (the doc I'm taking part in) started a contest. Since a lot of you are runners, you may want to enter--if you submit a photo of you in your best running costume, you can win a drawing of you in costume done by a cartoonist. I wish I could win it, because I would love to have a cartoon drawing of myself! It would be a cool profile picture or something. But anyway, you can go to the Facebook page and click on "Contests" to check it out.

I'm kind of looking forward to my run tomorrow--I get to try out my news Mizunos!


  1. Awesome for Jerry!

    I love your diy foam roller - very clever!! I've been too cheap to buy one and never considered making one… hmmm…

    I love reading about Noah, Eli and your parents even more now that I know them - awww. I could picture the games. :-)

  2. I love kettlebells, but hate the swing. LOL. It is highly effective and great to help with running time. I am actually in the middle of a challenge to do 10,000 30# kettlebell swings in the month of June. My heart gets pumping and I sweat something fierce. It took me a long time to get the proper form and once I did....WOO. For our fit test we had to do as many as we could in 5 min. I did 132 and collapsed to the ground when done. My legs were shaking at 127 and I thought they were going to give out. I may have to make my own foam roll too. It works great....hurts so good. They are really expensive though for just being foam. LOL.

  3. AnonymousJune 05, 2012

    What size kettlebell does the book recommend starting with? I ordered it, but want to be ready to go when it arrives. :) Love, love, love your blog!

  4. I love your foam roller! I really need to make one since i have been wanting to buy one! Think maybe i should make my own instead of buying one. thanks for the great idea!
    I went on to the fb site and submitted one of my photos from a mud race...was lots of fun wearing a tutu! LOL!
    Good for jerry getting in to running!

  5. Man, some of the simplest things in life are SO expensive. Like when I bought The Stick to roll out my leg muscles after runs. I paid $35 for a piece of plastic!! haha. Your foam roller rocks. I love watching my nieces play sports, so fun and relaxing and sometimes funny! And the boys looks darling in their uniforms! I often joke that if I had children I'd send them to a private school, not for the education but to have cute uniforms! I kid, I kid. I hope they enjoy baseball season! My niece is short for her age and when she first went to a basketball practice in 4th grade I heard parents around me say to each other, "oh, I wonder if she's a grade younger?" Nope, just short! :D

  6. Great job on the foam roller. Mine was $36 (and a God send) but I sure as heck didn't pay for it. That's what Amazon wish lists are for! :)

  7. That's such a fun contest ides on the Facebook page. I'll have to check it out!

  8. Glad to hear Jerry wants to run too. Now if you can just keep him out of those races you want to run (I assume his Co. will only pay one entry fee?)

    LOVED the pictures of Noah & Eli. I know JUST when you mean about how rare it is for little boys to catch those fly balls. We had one little boy on my middle son's team (which my husband coached from K-8 grades) who could catch the ball. We put him at first base since most important catching was done there. He helped win a lot of games for that team.

  9. What exactly do you have to do to roll out your IT band?

  10. AnonymousJune 06, 2012

    Katie, that foam roller is AWESOME!! You should consider starting to make some of those and sell them to runners at much cheaper than they could buy at the sports stores - a total win/win! I start my Hal Higdon marathon training schedule today so this is perfect timing!!

    What is The Swing about? I will have to go find that post.

    Good for Jerry! You can tell him one of your readers is JUST starting too after a verrrrry long break from running (or any exercising!).

    Your boys are absolutely adorable!

  11. Glad Jerry is getting back into the game, my DH called this morning to say he MAY go running. He hasn't stepped foot on the road since his marathon 7 weeks ago, so it is a big step!

    Can't wait to hear what you think about the Mizunos! My friends either love em or hate em.

  12. Perfect timing with this post! I was at Target this weekend pricing the foam rollers and they were $25-35. I could not believe it. I am going to make my own this weekend.

  13. I can't decide if I want Greg to start running with me or not. Every time we strength train together we end up arguing lol.

    Awesome foam roller! I work at a gym so I always have access to one, but I would like to have one at home. I'm sure Greg would probably like one, too.

  14. I'm just curious? What is a foam roller used for? Sorry for being so dumb. LOL!

  15. I've been coveting a foam roller too, they feel sooo good, but they ARE expensive. I might just give that a try!

  16. I got one of the big cardboard rolls (that the big rolls of paper are on-usually teachers/crafty people have connections here) and cut it in half. It isn't as soft as a foam one, but it definitely does the trick and it was free! :)

  17. Foam rolling is the devil. I was complaining to my boyfriend that the outside of my knee hurt, so he started to massage it. When he went up a little higher into my thigh (IT band), and I yelped, he was all "yep, time to foam roll."

    Because he hates me.

    But my leg is feeling much better.

    Awesome DIY foam roller/torture device!

  18. AnonymousJune 06, 2012

    My IT band is trying to win, but I am fighting the pain as hard as I can. It really does a number on the knee. Sooooooo discouraging. 4 weeks of PT has really helped, but I am starting to think it will be a lifelong thing that will wax and wane. The roller helps--also, working hard to strengthen the quads and hamstrings has been critical in the recovery process. Hang in there!!

  19. Katie- I am considering buying "the swing" book for my I-phone, I just read the sample portion, and was intrigued. I look forward to future reports from you...what weight kb do you have? I have a 12 pounder, but I am thinking that might be too small?!?!?

  20. Homemade foam roller? I'm going to have to bookmark this page once I start running more than 5ks~!

  21. I have a couple kettle bell DVDs I enjoy. They kick my tush! Looking forward to hearing how you feel about it after doing it twice/ week for awhile. :)


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive