Foam rolling, while once used exclusively by athletes, coaches and therapists, has become an everyday staple for people at every fitness level. The simple technology and affordability of foam rollers has transformed the workout scene, getting people to the gym more often and with greater results.
How to Use a Foam Roller to Relieve Tension and Pain in Every Part of Your Body
That said, everyone can learn more about foam rolling. Whether you’ve been implementing it into your routine for years or are completely new to the practice, the stretches below are sure to kick your workout routine into high gear.
The Benefits of Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a type of self-myofascial release in which pressure is applied to body parts to relieve pain. Foam rolling significantly increases your range of motion and provides the best flexibility improvements, to name a few. Other benefits of include:
- Prevents injury
- Helps recover faster (minimizes rest and recovery needed between workouts)
- Breaks up scar tissue and adhesion between the skin, muscles and bones
- Removes lactic acid and aids recovery
- Cheaper than a massage; saves you money
Top Foam Rolling Techniques
Perform each of these foam rolling exercises for 20-30 seconds and repeat each move roughly 10 times. Roll for longer at points of major discomfort.
Lie down with your back to the floor. Place foam roller under your back and cross your arms in front of you, protracting your shoulder blades. Raise your hips off the ground and place all your weight to one side, rolling the upper to mid back. Alternate sides.
Rest the foam roller underneath your back and pull your leg up to hug your left knee. Roll from the base of your rib cage to above your glutes. Repeat on your right side.
Place the foam roller underneath your upper hamstring muscles – just below your glutes. Ross your right leg over your left leg and slowly and steadily roll the foam roller down from your glutes to right above your knee. Repeat on your right side.
Lie face down on the floor with your weight supported by your hands or forearms. Place the foam roller underneath one leg and keep that foot off the ground. Shift as much weight as possible weight as you can tolerate onto your leg and roll from above the knee to below your hip. Repeat on the opposite side.
With the foam roller resting underneath both your glutes, bring your right leg up and rest your right ankle above your left knee.
Lie on your side with the foam roller underneath your upper thigh. With the help of your legs and arms, roll the length of your IT band along the foam roller from the outside, upper portion of your thigh to just above your knee. Repeat on the opposite side.
Lie face down with one leg on top of a foam roller, against your inner thigh. Shift as much weight as possible onto the foam roll as you can tolerate. While relaxing your inner thigh muscle, roll over the area between your hip and knee. Repeat on the opposite leg.
While seated, place a foam roller under your low leg with the other leg placed on the floor supporting some of your weight. Place your hands to your sides and or just behind you, and press down to raise your hips off the floor, placing your weight against your calf muscle. Rolle from below the knee to above the ankle. Repeat on the opposite leg.
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