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Top 7 Foam Roller Exercises

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Safety Warning

Please consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you experience any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath when performing any of the described movements, stop all activity immediately and consult your Doctor. If you are taking any medication, you should consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise program. Do not perform self-myofascial release if your Doctor has advised you not to do so. Do not take any risks beyond your level of experience and fitness. The exercises described in this program are to be used as guidelines only and are not to be treated as a substitute for any exercise routine or treatment regimen that may have been prescribed to you by your Doctor. Do not use a foam roller if you have a circulatory problem and/or chronic pain disease. The recommendations described here are for educational purposes only and are not medical guidelines.

What does a Foam Roller Help with?

Myofascial tissue is a type of strong connective tissue that runs throughout the body, connecting muscles, nerves and organs, giving the muscles the mechanical stability required to contract forcefully. It is comprised of water, two types of proteins named collagen and elastin and proteoglycans, which are made up of protein and carbohydrates. The body produces excess collagen in the form of scar tissue in response to inflammation.

Scar tissue can also occur as a result of acute conditions such as pulls, tears and collisions, an accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma) or not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia). This build-up of scar tissue can lead to weakening and shortening of muscles to a reduced range of motion, pain and loss of strength.

Foam rollers and massage balls can be particularly effective at treating this myofascial tissue, serving to release tension and reduce discomfort.

Here are some of our best foam roller exercises to help get you started.

 

Lats

Lay on the floor on your right side, with your right arm extended and place your left hand on your left hip. Your right leg should be almost straight and your left leg bent.

Position the foam roller against your lats on your right side, (near your armpits) and rock slowly backwards and forwards. Focus on applying pressure from between your armpits to the end of your ribcage. Now switch sides.

Glutes

Sit down on the floor and support your bodyweight with both hands. Cross your
right leg over and place it on your left thigh. Position yourself so the base of your glutes on your right side are firmly placed against the foam roller. Apply only a small amount of pressure to begin with. Varying the amount of support you provide your body with your hands will enable you to increase
or decrease the pressure applied as required. Now switch sides.

Hamstrings

Begin by sitting down. Place your hands behind you against the floor to help stabilise yourself as you place the back of your left leg on the foam roller. Your right leg should be bent. Roll from the back of your left knee towards
the base of your glutes and back again. Now repeat on the other side. You may want to start by repeating this 2 or 3 times on each side and increase the pressure as you become more accustomed to the movement.

Calves

Sit on the floor and support your bodyweight with both hands placed behind you against the floor. Position your right calf on the foam roller and begin to apply pressure. In order to increase the amount of pressure, you can place your left leg on top of your right leg. Repeat the movement on the other side.

Upper Back

Lay down with your back against the floor. Place the foam roller against your upper back, just beneath your shoulder blades. Use your feet to help you to move your bodyweight forwards and backwards against the foam roller. Apply pressure from between the bottom to the top of your shoulder blades.

Quadriceps and Hip Flexors

Lay with your head facing down towards the floor and support your bodyweight with your forearms. Place the top of your left thigh against the foam roller and begin rolling slowly towards your hips. Be sure to apply only a small amount of pressure when performing this movement for the first time. Now switch to perform the movement on your right thigh.

Shins

Place your hands on the floor and bend your right leg, placing
the front of your right shin against the foam roller and
your left leg outstretched behind you. Move your right knee
gradually forwards and backwards. Relaxing your arms
slightly will enable you to provide more pressure if needed.
Now repeat on the other side.

Thank you for reading!

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