Foam Rolling Moves for Your Entire Body
One of the best ways to release tension and stress is massages. They can easily speed up recovery after an intense workout. However, if you are a fan of rollers, then this might sound good to you. They are the cheaper means of relaxation and provides more comfort compared to massages. Foam rolling can relieve tight muscles. Also, they work on the connective tissues present among the organs, muscles, and bones.
Benefits of Foam Rolling
There are various benefits of foam rolling. Some major ones are –
- Lowers inflammation that happens during the muscle repair process.
- Alleviates soreness.
- Helps in faster recovery of muscle repair.
- Helps in the prevention of injuries by maintaining muscle strength as well as remedying tightness and tension.
- Promotes relaxation
- Increases the flow of blood and elasticity of joints, muscle tissue, and fascia.
Foam Rolling Exercises You Can Do at Home
Well, are you a foam rolling newbie? Don’t worry! In this article, you will come across various methods of doing great exercises using a foam roller. Before you start exercising, you need a medium-to-low density foam roller and some open space.
You must make sure to at least do any of these exercises three times a week. The best part of the foam rolling exercise is that you can do it at any time. It is recommended to do it before warmups or workouts or after, just to avoid soreness. Well, you can even do these exercises while binge-watching the latest episodes of Netflix series.
1) Elongate the Spine And Open The Chest
- First lay on the foam roller. It must be kept parallel to your spine.
- Make sure your neck, head, shoulder, mid back, upper back, pelvis, and lower back are completely supported.
- Allow your arms to rest beside your body and the palms must rotate either down or up.
- Let your body relax. Then gently rock from right to left.
- Stretch your neck and slowly turn your head from one side to another.
If the desk job has makes you sedentary all day, then roll out the quads. Get the blood flowing and make your muscles engaged.
- First begin in a plank position using the roller, just under your quads.
- Brace yourself with your core and upper body. Slowly begin to roll the roller down till it reaches just above your knees.
- After that, roll in the opposite direction till you can reach the hip flexors.
- Continue to do this for 30 seconds.
- As soon as you hit the tender spot, just hold yourself there for a few breaths.
- In case you want to provide more TLC, try to focus on a single quad first. After that, move to the other one.
3) Relax Your Upper Back and Shoulders
- Lay back onto the roller. Make sure that it is perpendicular to your spine, just behind the third or fourth lowest ribs.
- Keep your feet flat on the ground as well as your knees bent. Also, the hips must be heavy, and the core engaged.
- Then bring your hands right behind your ears making your elbows wide. Keep your chest open and fingers light.
- Take a deep breath and on your exhalation try to extend your back over the foam roller, that too in the gentle arch.
- Continue doing this movement a few times while synchronizing your breath, where you exhale to arch and inhale to prepare.
- Then return to the starting position and try to bring your elbows in. Make sure to press your feet so that you can lift your hips a few inches right from the ground.
- Make your spine straight and roll up to the tips of the shoulder blades. Move back to where you began.
- Continue to do these five and ten times. Then lean towards the side of your body and roll five to ten times using your opposite shoulder blade.
- Plus, try to straighten the bottom arms or you can keep your arms just behind your head. Do this in the opposite too.
- Sit with your right leg placed on the foam roller. Your left knee must be bent, and your hands should be placed on the floor behind you.
- Roll down and up from the knee to under the right butt cheek. Then switch your legs.
This exercise is done for relaxing the three muscles attached to your pelvis. By foam rolling your hamstrings, you can improve the mobility of the hip, thereby reducing the stress on the lower back. Also, you can loosen the upper leg muscles and improve your performance in sports.
This exercise is perfect for individuals who are sitting all day at the desk. Also, you can do this exercise after an intense workout at the gym.
Sometimes sitting for an extended period will affect your hip flexors. Now stretching them is good, but doing the foam rolling exercise will be much better as it will loosen the tissues of the muscles. Also, the connective tissue called fascia will also get loosen up from this exercise.
- Lie down facing the floor on the foam roller. Be in the forearm plank position.
- Here the foam roller should be underneath the left hip flexor. Also, the right leg should be bent comfortably to the side.
- While keeping the foam roller rest on your forearm, start to roll slowly down and up as well as side to side. This is to target the hip flexor and pay close attention to the various trigger points.
- Continue to follow this procedure or exercise for 30-40 seconds.
- Switch and continue to repeat it on the right hip flexor.
5) Outer Thighs
- Position your body on the right side. Place the foam roller right under the right hip and keep your right hand under the right elbow.
- For bracing abs as well as glutes for balance, take your right arm and slowly roll it down from the right hip to right knee.
- Switch to the other side and repeat this procedure.
Since the anatomies differ for both women and men, females end up having tighter outer thighs because of their pelvic brim. Through this exercise of rolling the outer thighs, women can overcome the tightness. With this move, you can target those long band of connective tissues running from the outer hip to the outer knee, which is called as ITB (Iliotibial Band).
You must do this exercise before any workout so that the mobility of the soft tissue of the outer thighs can be improved.
Besides doing the calf stretches, you can do foam rolling exercises for your calf muscles so that you can get some extra spring in the step.
- First, sit on the floor with your legs extended. Make sure the foam roller is positioned just under your calves.
- Then lift your body to get the weight rest on the foam roller. You must cross your left leg just over the right one for getting extra pressure.
- Slowly start to roll your right calf back and forth using the foam roller. Then navigate your body back and forward using your arms.
- Do this exercise for about 30 seconds.
- After that switch your legs and try to focus on the left calf.
7) Open Hips and Try To Work Out Tight Quads
- Lie on the front of your hips with the roller.
- Get your feet a bit apart from the foot and rest your knees gently on the ground. Place your head right on your hands.
- Press your left palm to the ground and gently roll on to your right side and stack your hips.
- Roll forward and back somewhere between six to ten times. Do this repeatedly on your left side.
- Slowly work on the quadriceps by moving the foam roller just right above your knees.
- Rest yourself on your forearm, making sure your knees are lifted right from the ground, the core is engaged, and the hips are placed a bit higher from your shoulders.
- Continue to roll your quadriceps five to ten times. Here you can either work throughout your whole upper leg in a single roll or try to break it into smaller sections and then move upward.
- For intensifying this, try to bend your knees by bringing your lower feet and leg to the ceiling.
8) Ribcage and Shoulders
- Place your body on the right side by keeping the foam roller under the right side of the chest.
- Extend your right arm out to the floor and get if away from the torso, with the right leg straight on the ground.
- The left leg must be propped in front of the body using the bent knee.
- Rotate a bit back slightly to make the right lower shoulder muscles meet the foam roller.
- Slowly roll the foam roller just a few inches closer to your legs, and even a few inches closer to your head. Then switch sides.
This exercise is suitable for various people who are having stress and keeping it in their upper shoulder or back area. Sustained and deep pressure will trigger muscle knots or points.
These help in decreasing the tightness of the fibers of the muscle and lowers the feeling of sensitivity. By using the body weight over the foam roller for getting deep pressure on the muscles as well as soft tissues will the muscle tension and reduce the stubborn trigger points.
9) Releasing Your Lower Back
- Lay on your back with your knees bent and keeping your feet flat on the ground.
- Rest and place your hips on the foam roller, making sure that it is perpendicular to the spine. Take some deep breaths.
- Slowly lift your feet and try to pull your knees right to the chest using your palms.
- Then move your knees in circles clockwise. Then do it counterclockwise.
- Now place your right knee in the bent position and allow your left foot to touch the ground. Try to interlace your palms right on the shin below the right knee and get your right knee towards the right shoulder.
- Avoid compressing the belly’s right side. Also, the right side of the ribs too.
- Then try to rotate your right ankle and foot in clockwise as well as counter clockwise for a few minutes. Here you must take some five to ten deep breaths and continue this procedure to the left side.
- First, sit on the foam roller.
- Get your right leg to cross over the left knee and slowly lean to the left hip.
- Put weight on your left hand for support.
- Slowly move or rollover to the left butt cheek and then switch sides.
One of the largest muscle groups in your body is the glutes, and they contain a lot of fascial layers. Many individuals have difficulty in activating those muscles. With foam rolling exercise, you can improve the range of motion of your hips and improve the fascial mobility.
Hence, by improving the flow of the blood and the fascial gliding of the butt muscles, the foam rolling exercise can activate the muscles of the gluteal. These are the major muscle groups for everyday activities like climbing the stairs and doing sports-related movements like running.
This exercise must be done to wake up those glutes after you had sat the whole day or just before you begin any workout. Also, if you have done any heavy leg related workouts and feel that you are going to get the pain tomorrow, uses the foam roller and roll it out before going back to your home and sitting on the butt.
11) Increasing Mobility Present in Upper Thighs and Groins
- Lay on your belly using the foam roller to the left, which must be parallel to the torso.
- Then you must lean to the right side and try to get your left leg over the foam roller using your knee bent at a 90 degree
- The calf and foot must be rested on the opposite side of the foam roller.
- Make sure your legs are relaxing on the roller and get your upper body as well as hips forward.
Foam rolling exercise is a great one if you are aware of the techniques of using it as an exercise machine. You can always consult with your personal trainer or fitness trainer before doing the exercises mentioned above.