Foam Rolling Exercises

I'm not going to go into the medical reasons for foam rolling. Let's just say that foam rolling is used to work out "knots" in muscles, similar to a massage. Instead, on this page I'm going to focus mainly on different exercises you can do with your foam roller and what muscles these exercises hit. You can use foam rolling as a warm-up, a cool-down, or any time you feel like a massage.

Just like when getting a massage, it's normal to feel a little pain when foam rolling. It's likely the pain you feel is a knot in your muscle. Foam rolling can work out the knot. If the pain is severe, or rolling on the muscle is making the pain worse, stop immediately.

Foam rolling is not for everyone. If any of these conditions apply to you, check with your doctor before doing any foam rolling: on high blood pressure medication (or any blood thinner medication), if you have osteoporosis, if you are pregnant, diabetics, and if you have varicose veins, never roll directly over a vain. This is not a complete list of contra indicators to foam rolling. It's always best to check with your doctor. If you have any questions, let me know.

To see a some different foam rollers available, along with a description of each and our recommendations, visit our Foam Rollers Shop.

Perform each exercise for 20 to 30 seconds:

Calves

  • Sit on floor, hands on the floor by your sides, and place the foam roller under one of your calves.
  • Cross your other foot over the foot on the foam roller.
  • Lift your butt off the ground, placing all your weight on your hands and on the calve resting on the foam roller.
  • Point your toes on the calve to be roller away from your body.
  • Rocking back and forth on your hands, start rolling your calve, from above your ankle to just below the underside of your knee.
  • If this position is too hard for you, try putting both calves on the foam roller at the same time, rolling both together.

Hamstrings

  • Sit on floor, hands on the floor by your sides, and place the foam roller under your hamstrings (back of your legs between the underside of your knees and your butt.
  • Lift your butt off the ground, placing all your weight on your hands and your hamstrings on the foam roller.
  • Rocking back and forth on your hands, start rolling your hamstrings, from just above the underside of your knee to just below your butt.

Thighs

  • Lie face down on the floor with the foam roller under your thighs (quadriceps) and hands to the side of your chest.
  • Raise your body off the ground with your hands, resting all your weight on your hands and your thighs.
  • Rocking back and forth on your hands, start rolling your thighs, from the bottom of your hips to just above your knees.
  • While rolling, rotate your thighs from left to right to roll all parts of your thighs.

Upper Back

  • Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, with the foam roller under your upper back, just below your shoulders.
  • Put your hands behind your head for support, keeping your head straight with your body.
  • Raise your butt off the floor, resting all your weight on your feet and your back (resting on the foam roller).
  • Use your feet to rock yourself back and forth, start rolling your upper back, from just below your shoulders to just below your shoulder blades. Many people also roll their lower back, but if not done correctly, you may injure yourself there.

Other

I'm not going to go into detail, but some other areas you may want to roll include:
  • Glutes (butt)
  • IT Band (outer thigh)
  • Adductors (inner thigh)
  • Lats (side of your body)
  • Shoulders (on your side)

Give some of these exercises a try. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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