6 Ways to use a foam roller
Rolling out is one of my absolute favourite ways to spend my time and it has been for the past 10 years or so. My trusty roller has helped me through some of the toughest times in my life, from knee reconstructions to general tightness its always been there to relieve any kind of muscular tension I can throw at it.
Yes its going to be uncomfortable when you start out, the more discomfort and pain you experience and work through, the better you’ll feel afterwards!
The benefits of foam rolling are well known so I don’t think I need to go too far into why you should be doing it. In case you don’t though, here’s some benefits: It aids in recovery by dissipating lactic acid, helps with flexibility, massages deep tissues often missed during stretching, breaks up scar tissue, works out knots and best of all it will save you money not needing to get a massage once a week! An absolute must do in my books, once a day for 5-10 minutes will change your life!
With all that said here’s my 6 favourite ways to use a foam roller!
1. Back & Shoulders:
Forget about asking your partner for a back rub, this will do a much better job (unless you are shacked up with an osteo)
Place your hands behind your head, lie back and enjoy. You can use your legs to leverage your torso back and forth massaging out the long ropey muscles that extend either side of your spine, work into your shoulder blades by lifting your elbows to the sky or take it all the way down into your lower back!
This one is really, really painful if you’re knotted up. Starting from your back with your hands behind your head, roll onto your side sightly to take it into your lats, they are the bulky muscles on the back of your armpits. You can use your top leg in contact with the ground to move your upper body slowly rolling over the muscle.
This one took me way too long to figure out, its really helpful if you have sore ankles! Start with the back of both legs on the roller, then roll up and down on them. To intensify you can stack one leg over the other, this will add a bit more weight to take it deeper into the muscle.
Yep, the old butt muscles. The important thing here is stacking the foot of the leg you’re rolling out on top of the opposite knee, what this will do is open up the hip joint so you can roll the whole muscle out. To intensify you can take your foot away from the floor so that your entre body weight is loading on the target area.
The muscles that run up your shins are incredibly hard to stretch so this one is great! You can start by massaging out both at the same time with your toes pointed towards each other slightly. once it becomes comfortable you can stack one foot on top of the opposite leg to apply a bit more pressure.
6. Side of legs:
A lot of people will say IT Band, but don’t just limit it to the one muscle. Muck around with rolling your body slightly forward, to roll out the sides of your quads too. Make sure you’re rolling out the whole length between your knee and hip also. You can start with the top leg grounded to take the pressure off but eventually you want to have both legs stacked on top of each other.