The foam roller assists with stretching the muscle fascia, tendons, connective tissue and scar adhesions. By using your own body weight, you can roll over the foam in order to provide self-massage and self-myofascial release. The benefits include improved joint range of motion, decreased joint stress, decreased muscle soreness and increased muscle recovery. Perform these exercises post-workout for one minute each.
BACK: Lie on the foam roller, legs bent, hands behind head. Roll from your waist to your shoulders.
CHEST: Lie parallel on top of the foam roller, arms out to the side, palms up. Make snow angels with your arms.
GLUTES: One leg at a time. Sit on top of the foam roller, cross one leg over the other, roll out that leg’s glutes. Roll from your ischial tuberosity (butt bone) up to your iliac crest (top of pelvis).
QUADS: Both legs. Lie prone over the foam roller, propped up on your hands or forearms. Roll from your hips down to your knees.
IT BAND: One leg at a time. Lie on your side, propped up on your forearms. Roll from your hip down to just below your knee.
HAMSTRINGS: Both legs. Sit with your legs on top of the foam roller, one leg bent. Roll from your ischial tuberosity (butt bone) down to just below your knee.
CALVES: Both legs. Sit with your legs on top of the foam roller. Roll from your ankle up to just above your knee.
By Stephanie Batz