The secret to faster healing from an intense workout session is through foam roller exercises. This simple and modest equipment breaks up the adhesions in the fascia which helps to speed up the process of recovery. The best thing is; it is extremely easy to use this tool. If you are a beginner with foam rolling exercises, then you should opt for a soft foam roller so that you can roll easily without stressing your muscles or causing too much discomfort. Once you get used to the methods and techniques, you can switch to a firmer roller.
Foam rolling exercises can be done after every workout session for 3 to 5 minutes in order to soothe tight and strained muscles. The correct method of using a foam roller is to place as much body mass as possible on the roller. Start at the muscle closest to the body and roll down the length of the muscle using kneading motions and then quickly go back to the starting position in one swift motion.
Benefits of Foam Roller Exercises
The amazing foam roller benefits for muscle tension and pain makes it one of the most popular stretching equipment that is widely used in gyms and fitness hubs.
- Regular foam rolling helps to increase blood flow to the muscles which in turn enhances oxygen delivery during workouts.
- Foam roller stretches help to relieve muscle tension after a strenuous workout session.
- The pressure applied to a specific area can be controlled so that you can focus on the problem areas in a more effective manner.
- The action and movement involved in foam rolling exercises stretch and lengthens the muscles and allows you to maximize the workouts.
- These workouts decrease recovery time and promote muscle repair so that you can be prepared for the workout the next day.
- Improved blood flow to the muscles helps to flush out toxins from the muscles and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
10 Relaxing Foam Roller Stretches for the Whole Body
Foam roller exercises not only helps to relieve pain through application of self-pressure but also increase the range of motion along with improvement in flexibility.
Upper Back (Thoracic Spine) Roll
What better way to relax and unwind the stressed upper back muscles that with the healing foam roller exercises for the upper back?
Lie down flat on the floor and place a foam roller underneath the upper back keeping your arms crossed in front of you, protracting your shoulder blades. Now, raise your hips off the ground, putting the weight on the roller, shifting the body weight to one side rolling from upper to mid back. Repeat the role 10 times and then alternate sides. In order to perfect the move, don’t tilt your head forward because it puts stress on the spine. Always keep your head and neck in one line with your back.
The muscles of the legs are the most difficult to work out and relax, and one of the best way to work it in a healing and mild way is through foam roller exercise for calves.
Begin in a seated position on the floor with the foam roller placed underneath the calves or lower legs. Keep your hands at sides or just behind the body and press on the floor to lift the body off the floor. Your entire weight should be on your hands. Now, roll forward and back slowly so that the roller also moves up and down below the leg from the knees to the ankles. Roll for 10 repetitions and the repeat on opposite leg. Try to turn your feet in or out as you roll in order to change the emphasis on the leg.
The groin is yet another part of the body that endures considerable pressure through weight lifting and body building workouts, and it can be relaxed in an effective manner using foam roller workout for the adductor muscles of the hips.
Lie face down on a mat with one leg on top on the foam roller placed exactly against the inner thigh. Put as much weight as you can on the foam roller and roll it under the groin area between the hip and knee region while trying to relax the muscles of the groin and inner thigh. Roll for 10 repetitions and then repeat on the opposite leg.
IT Band (Iliotobial) Roll
The sides of the legs are yet another problem region that general Pilates or calisthenics exercises cannot target and work in a proper way. Therefore, it is best to keep their muscles under best condition using safe and relaxing foam roller stretches.
Lie on your left side with the foam roller placed under your left hip. Cross your right leg over the left leg and place it on the floor in front. Put tolerable weight on the foam roller and roll your leg over the roller from hip to knee. Roll for 10 repetitions and then repeat on the opposite leg. You can enhance pressure on the sides of the leg by stacking one leg on other, but this will also challenge your stability.
Strenuous cardio exercises such as jogging, brisk walking and running puts considerable pressure on the leg muscles and joints, specifically the hamstrings and glutes and it is more common in case of runners and athletes. Therefore, foam roller for runners is extremely useful and beneficial for reducing pain, soreness and stiffness of muscles.
Sit straight on the floor or mat with your legs stretched straight in front and the roller positioned under your thighs. Keep your hands at your sides for supporting your body weight and initiate the motion by slowly rolling back and forth so that the roller moves up and down from the glutes to the knees. You can increase the effectiveness of the exercise and target the hamstrings in a better way by rotating your legs in and out from the hips as you roll.
The most effective way to relax and rejuvenate the overworked quads is using the best foam roller exercises that are low impact and mild in nature.
Lie face down on the mat with the foam roller placed exactly under the thighs and your weight supported by your hands and forearms by keeping them bend on the floor. Your feet should be suspended on the foam roller. Now, generate the rolling movement by rolling your body forward and backward so that the roller moves between the pelvic region and hips. You can enhance the intensity of the workout by stacking your feet together on the roller.
Lats (Latissimus Dorsi) Roll
The sides of the upper back is another major discomfort region which can be soothed and relaxed with foam roller exercises for lats or Latissimus Dorsi region.
Lie on your right side with your right arm stretched straight ahead along the floor and keep the roller exactly under the right armpit. Bend your left arm and place your left palm on the floor for support. Now generate the up and down movement from the armpit to the waist by moving the roller. Repeat the movement for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then repeat it on the left side. Keep the thumb of your extended arm pointed towards the ceiling in order to pre-stretch the lats.
Lower Back Roll
The lower back is yet another region of discomfort and most of the back pains spring from this particular region of the body. This is because the lower back is not only responsible for the twisting and turning movements but also for carrying the weight of the upper body. Specially targeted foam roller exercises for back helps to soothe and ease the soreness and stiffness in the back.
Begin in a seated position and place the foam roller just under the lower back. Cross your arms in front, stretch your shoulders, raise your hips off the floor while leaning back and roll over backwards and forward keeping the weight on the lower back muscles of one side instead of the spine. Continue for 1 minute and repeat by putting the weight on the back muscles of the other side.
Doing push ups, pull ups and chest fly is necessary for pumping up the chest muscles, but all these vigorous exercises put a lot of stress on the tissues and muscles. The best way to relieve this stress, stiffness, and discomfort and open up the chest is by doing foam roller exercises for the chest.
Lay down on your stomach with the foam roller placed at shoulder height. Extend one arm in front keeping the roller exactly below the armpit and press your chest into the roller and then release the tension. Roll back and forth on your chest for 1 minute and then repeat with the other arm extended.
Shaping and toning the glutes while keeping them in perfect form can be a challenge with regular exercises. Low-impact glute workouts using foam roller is the best way to solve this problem.
Sit on the mat with your legs stretched straight in front. Place the foam roller under the butt, use your arms to lift the glutes and bend one leg so that one side of the leg bears all the weight of the body. Move your glute forward and backward over the roller for 1 minute and then switch sides. You can increase the range of movement by pressing through the palms and moving through the shoulders.
So, if you have not invested in a foam roller yet, do it right now and enjoy a complete sports massage experience that helps to reduce inflammation, heal scar tissue and joint stress and improve flexibility and blood circulation throughout the body.