Many trainers and physical therapists call this inexpensive, long tube their secret weapon against pain. Similar to an old-fashioned rubdown, using a roller breaks up fibrous tissue and boosts circulation so you’re less sore.
Look at our Foam Roller Review to see which brand fits you best.
1. Upper Back Roll
Lie down with your back on the floor. Place a foam roller underneath your upper back and cross your arms in front of you, protracting your shoulder blades. Raise your hips off of the ground, placing your weight onto the roller. Shift your weight to one side, rolling the upper to mid back. Alternate sides.
2. Calf Roll
While seated, place a foam roller underneath your lower leg with the other leg placed on the floor supporting some of your weight. Place hands at sides or just behind you, and press down to raise your hips off of the floor, placing your weight against your calf muscle. Roll from below the knee to above the ankle. Repeat on opposite leg.
3. Hamstrings Roll
While seated, extend your legs over a foam roller so that it is positioning on the back of the upper legs. Place your hands to the side or behind you to help support your weight. Using your hands, lift hips off of the floor and shift your weight on the foam roll to one leg. Relax the hamstrings of the leg you are stretching. Roll over the foam from below the hip to above the back of the knee. Repeat on opposite leg.
4. Lats Roll
While lying on the floor, place a foam roller under your back and to one side, just behind your armpit. Keep the arm of the side being stretched to your side as you shift your weight onto your lats, keeping your upper body off of the ground. Repeat on opposite side.
5. Glutes Roll
Sit with your butt on top of a foam roller. Bend your knees, and then cross one leg so that the ankle is over the knee. Shift your weight to the side of the crossed leg, rolling over your glutes until you feel tension. Repeat on opposite side.
6. Lower Back Roll
In a seated position, place a foam roller under your lower back. Cross your arms in front of you and protract your shoulders. Raise your hips off of the floor and lean back, keeping your weight on your lower back. Now roll over back and forward, keeping your weight off of the spine and on the muscles to one side of it. Roll over your lower back. Repeat on the other side.
7. Chest Roll
Place a foam roller on the floor. Lay face down with the foam roller at shoulder height and extend one arm forward. With the foam roller just below your armpit, press your chest into the foam and roll in small movements and release tension in your chest. Roll back and forth on your chest, then extend your other arm and repeat.
Download your own copy of Foam Roller Exercises here.