Have you ever heard of foam rolling?
It is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue. Foam rolling also increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility and flexibility helping with recovery and improving performance. Regularly rolling before and after your workout will help you prevent injury+recover fast. Even if you are nor going to practice any physical activity it is still beneficial to foam roll, it helps all of us who work in front of a computer or really any of us who live our daily lives with bad posture and muscle tension. And you wanna know what the best part is? You actually don’t have to go anywhere to foam roll, you can simply do it in the comfort of your own home.
Check out below some common areas you can foam roll and how to do it:
- Calves: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out, hands on the floor behind you supporting your weight. Place the foam roller under your calves. Slowly roll along the back of your legs up and down from your knees to your ankles. Hold pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
- Hamstrings: Sit with your right leg on the foam roller; bend your left knee, cross your left ankle over your right ankle, and put your hands on the floor behind you. Slowly roll up and down from your knee to just under your right butt cheek. Switch legs. Hold pressure on any tight spot for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
- Quads: Lie face down on the floor and place the foam roller under your hips. Lean on your right leg and roll up and down from your hip to your knee then switch legs. You can roll both legs at the same time as well. Hold pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds then keep rolling slowly.
- Inner Thighs: Lie face down on the floor resting on your elbows. Position the foam roller to one side of your lower body and rotate that leg outward. Lift the rotated leg and place the inner thigh on the foam roller. Slowly push your body up and down to roll the inner thigh. Hold pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
- IT Band: Lie on your side with bottom leg placed onto a foam roller between the hip and the knee and top leg crossed in front of you. Place as much of your weight as is tolerable onto your bottom leg. Slowly roll your leg over the foam from your hip to your knee. Repeat on opposite leg. Maintain pressure on tight spot for about 30 seconds then continue rolling slowly.
- Glutes/Piriformis: Sitting on the foam roller, cross your right leg over your left knee and lean toward the right hip, putting your weight on your hands for support. Slowly roll one butt cheek over the roller maintaining pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds. Switch sides.
- Lats: Lying with body stacked on one side, position foam roller under armpit. Slowly roll up and down, forward and back, holding pressure on tight spots for about 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side.
- Thoracic Spine: Lying face up, position roller underneath upper back with hands crossed over chest knees bent, hip width, with feet flat. Use legs to gently roll from upper to mid back, maintaining pressure on tight spots for 30-90 seconds. Note: those with back pain or spinal issues may want to avoid this or proceed with extra caution.