Foam Rolling Your Muscles to Lifting Success
If you want to get rid of those cranks and tight muscles forever, then a foam roller is the best tool that can help you. In this article, I have tried my best to explain what is a foam roller, what it does and 7 ways to use it effectively.
Without further ado, let’s jump straight into this cozy-sounding piece of equipment.
What is a Foam Roller?
A foam roller is a very light, super-versatile and inexpensive piece of equipment that helps to get rid of aching muscles and those pesky cranks & knots.
The concept is simple:
You lie with your aching muscle on the foam roller at a specific angle and roll over it using your bodyweight. This way of foam rolling is also known as self-myofascial release and is commonly used by therapists, coaches, and professional athletes.
When the pressure is properly applied on the right area, it aids in the recovery of muscles and returns them to normal functioning by increasing their elasticity, range of motion, and getting rid of the knots. Michael Clark, Ph.D., physical therapist and CEO of National Academy of Sports medicine, says “If you use foam rolling techniques just to rehab your injured muscles, you’re aren’t getting the most of it. It’s also a valuable part of a runner’s warmup and cooldown routine.”
That all being said, here are 7 different ways of foam rolling that you can do at the gym, a yoga center or even at a massage spa.
Ways of Foam Rolling
Let’s kick start it with calves because your bodyweight is dependent on your legs and having strong calves can give you all the support you need.
Sit on the floor and keep your legs straight out and hands on the floor behind you to support your weight.
Now, place the foam roller under your calves and gradually roll along the back of your legs up and down towards your ankles from the knees.
For the hamstrings, sit with your left leg on the foam roller and bend your right knee and cross the right ankle over your left ankle. For support, place your hands on the floor behind you.
Now, start rolling up and down from the knee and to your right butt cheek. Switch your legs and repeat the same motion.
Lie face down in the same manner as we did for calf rolling but this time put the roller under your hips. Lean towards your right leg and start to roll up and down starting from your hip and towards your knee. Switch your legs and repeat the same motion.
As you can see, we are slowly targeting every muscle group in your body with each rolling. For the back, sit on the floor and place the foam roller on your lower back. Your hands must be resting behind your head for support.
Now tighten your abs and core and then bend your knees to move the roller up and down your entire back. Keep it below your blades.
5. Outer Thighs
This will be pretty difficult as it requires more focus but you’ll get along easily. Firstly, lie on your side, and put the foam roller under the hip. Brace your abs and glutes to maintain your balance. Now, starting from your hips, roll down towards your knees. Switch sides and repeat the same movement.
6. Shoulders and Sides
Shoulder muscles are pretty tough so you’ll have to apply an extra bit of pressure while you roll. To begin, lie down on the floor on your back and position the foam roller behind the shoulders. Lace up your fingers behind your head and lean your upper back into the foam roller.
Before you roll, brace your glutes and abs and then put pressure on the roller as you roll from the underarms towards the bottom of the rib cage. Always return to the center. Switch sides and repeat the same movement.
The last foam rolling includes the butt and is very relaxing, comforting, and easy to do. Sit directly on the foam roller and cross the left leg over your right one and lean towards your left hip. Support yourself on your hands and gradually roll one butt cheek over the roller. Switch sides and repeat the same process.