You would have come across a foam roller in the gym or at the sports store and wondered how to use one. Though foam rollers are becoming popular, its use still remains a perplexing mystery for many gym regulars. Various types of foam rollers are available in the market, but all have the same purpose, that is, to quickly relieve you of your muscle fatigue or soreness, which can be achieved by following a simple foam roller routine.
Foam roller routine is also very effective in case you have stiff muscles or some residual pain forestalling your exercise schedule.
Foam rollers are meant to give you a quick yet deep massage provided you know how to use them correctly to extract maximum benefit without losing precious time in the gym.
Sore Muscles…? Try this Foam Roller Routine!
Hamstring stretch is done by placing the foam roller on the floor and resting your hamstring on it. Lean back and use your hands to support the body.
Your feet and back should be straight and should be at right angle to each other .
Lift your butt and heels on the floor so that your weight primarily rests on the hamstring. Roll back and forth from the bottom of the hip bones to the knees. For better results, place one leg on the roller and put additional weight on the hamstring with another leg crossed cover.
Lie flat on the floor on your stomach with the body leaning on your forearms. Place the foam roller on your right side next to the hip. Place your right leg up and over the roller so that your inner thigh is resting on it. Then turn your upper body in a position where your body is supported only by your forearms, left leg and foam roller.
Keeping your hips open and right leg turned out slightly, move your body so that the roller is moving from your hip to your knee. When you find the sore spot, apply some light pressure to relieve the soreness. Repeat the same steps on your left side.
Balancing and giving all muscles equal attention is very important in any kind of work-out schedule.After the hamstring, turn around and give equal attention to your quadriceps. Lie down in a plank position with one leg perpendicular to your body.
Place the foam under the quadriceps of your straight leg. Your body should be in a straight and extended position with the feet off the floor so that your legs are resting on the roller.
Roll yourself to and fro from your knees to pelvic bones. Like plank, keep your abs tight and engaged to protect your lower back.
Iliotibial (IT) Band
IT band issues are generally associated with runners. It can result in knee and lower back pain, so along with the foam roller exercise, you need to work on knee strengthening exercises. Keep the roller beneath your right IT band and support the body with your right forearm.
Place your left leg in front of the right leg. Now lift your right foot off the floor so that your body is balanced on the roller. Roll up and down from hip to knee. This is the best foam roller exercise to alleviate your IT band .
It is tough and painful initially, but regular practice will mitigate the pain.
This stretch is done by sitting on the foam roller. Lean back on your hands and bend your legs in front of you. Now cross your left leg over the right one and twist slightly towards the left side of the body, thus putting pressure on your left glutes . Roll over the entire left side of your butt.
For massaging different parts of your gluteus, add variation in the angles at which your body is twisted.
Lie on either side with the corresponding arm straight above your head. Place the foam roller below your armpit. Keep your legs straight as they will help you push your body up and down.
You can either keep your arms on ground or elevate but ensure that the weight is placed on the foam roller and not on the legs or arms . Use legs and roll up and down between the lower part of the lat and armpit.
Repeat for the other side.
Mid and Upper Back
Sit on the floor and place the foam roller behind you. Lie down on your back with the roller resting beneath your upper back, bend your knees, and firmly rest your feet on the floor. Now rest your body on the roller with the entire body weight on it for best results.
Using your feet, move your body to and fro from mid back to the shoulder area. Placing your arms in different positions, you can target various muscles of the upper and mid back.
Calves roller exercises are divided into three parts: backside, shins, and peroneal or outer calves . Here we will discuss the most common and traditional exercise – backside calves. Sit on the floor with legs stretched and put your arms behind to lean backward.
Place the foam roller under your calf muscles. With hands on the sides, lift your body off the floor. Using the arms, roll the roller across the backside of the calves. Start rolling from the Achilles tendon and move all the way up to the backside of the knee.
Sore after a tough marathon…? Then also check out these post marathon recovery steps to combine with this routine.
Rolling is the best alternative to the expensive massage therapy. With numerous health benefits credited to its name, foam roller routine is a must-do, at home or gym. You can even use it in your office.
Let us know your foam roller routine. We would love to know your thoughts!