5 Foam-Rolling Moves Your Muscles Will Appreciate

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Stretching is stretching, right? Not according to people who swear by foam rolling. The foam roller is a simple, inexpensive tool that can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your exercise routine. Whether you're looking for a new way to warm up before a workout or you need to stretch tight muscles, reduce soreness and recover quicker, the foam roller can help.

Used as a form of self-myofascial release, foam rollers can help reduce muscle tension while also increasing flexibility. If you're a beginner and have any injuries or chronic conditions (such as fibromyalgia), make sure you get clearance from your doctor before starting a regular foam rolling routine. Take things slowly if you're new to the foam roller because the process can be uncomfortable, especially if muscles are tight. Start with shorter sessions and move gently through each exercise. It shouldn’t feel comfortable when you’re rolling, but also shouldn’t feel painful. Mild discomfort with steady pressure is usually appropriate.  

Luckily, you don't need to carve out lots of extra time for foam rolling. Using the foam roller for just 10 minutes, two to three times per week will improve range of motion and reduce post-workout muscle soreness. Get started with these five exercises that are guaranteed to hit your muscles in all the right places. 


Sit tall on the floor with legs out in front of you, left ankle crossed over the right and toes pointed up toward the ceiling. Place the foam roller under your right ankle and place palms on the floor at your sides, lifting your backside off the ground. Roll your right calf from ankle to knee three to five times. Repeat with toes pointed inward, then toes pointed out before switching to the other leg.


Sit tall with legs out in front of you and the roller under one knee. Bend the other knee with the foot flat on the floor. Put palms on the floor at your sides and press down to lift your backside off the ground. Slowly roll out along your hamstring until it reaches the bottom of your glute, then roll back in until it reaches your knee. Repeat seven to 10 times, then switch legs.


Lay on the floor with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and the roller behind your upper back. Lightly rest your hands behind your head for support and push with your feet to roll from your neck to the middle of your back. Repeat seven to 10 times.


Lie face down with the roller positioned perpendicular just above the knees on the quads with toes on the ground. With your bodyweight on your forearms, slowly push back until the roller reaches your hips. Then push forward until the roller reaches the starting position just above the knees. Repeat seven to 10 times.


Lie on your side with knees bent and the roller under your right shoulder. The right arm can be extended slightly to help guide the movement properly. Slowly roll up and down along your deltoid muscle using a small range of motion. Repeat seven to 10 times, then switch sides.


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SUNSET09 1/9/2021
Good information! Thanx SparkFriend Report
VHAYES04 12/4/2020
Ty Report
NANHBH 10/13/2020
Gotta try these! Report
VHAYES04 8/7/2020
Ty Report
RACHAEL2020 7/28/2020
Good stuff! Report
WILDKAT781 6/20/2020
thanks! Report
EOWYN2424 6/20/2020
I just might have to get a foam roller! Report
MNABOY 6/12/2020
Thanks! Report
DWROBERGE 5/27/2020
great exercises Report
KATHYJO56 5/19/2020
These exercises feel so good Report
BANEWLAND 5/13/2020
Thanks! Great article. Report
MNABOY 4/29/2020
Thanks Report
DWROBERGE 4/22/2020
great info Report
BIKE4HEALTH 4/21/2020
Tried this once and it really hurt. But I can see benefits and I need to make it work with a second effort Report
DMEYER4 4/21/2020
thanks Report
Thanks! Report
PHATPAT18 4/14/2020
Great! Report
BIKE4HEALTH 4/13/2020
Thanks Report
GOFORGIN 4/6/2020
Ok Report
PICKIE98 4/3/2020
In rehab, the P.T. rant he roller all over my legs,, I called it "The Cannon". Report
USMAWIFE 4/2/2020
thank you Report
Sounds like good advise. I think I will pick one up after I am able to get out. Report
ONLYME33 3/29/2020
Looks like one needs to be limber or trapeze artist to move the roller. A workout in itself. Report
KOHINOOR2 3/28/2020
Great article! Thanks. Report
HOLLYM48 3/28/2020
Great article! Report
Great article! Report
Very useful information, Thanks Report
Thanks Report
GO_GAL_GROW 3/27/2020
I have been foam rolling for over a decade. It is one Healthy Action that I realized I’d be doing forever. When I foam roll daily, my body moves better. Report
PIZZA5152 3/27/2020
Thanks Report
JUNETTA2002 3/21/2020
Thanks for sharing Report
DWROBERGE 3/19/2020
great article Report
DWROBERGE 3/13/2020
very helpful Report
DWROBERGE 3/12/2020
useful info Report
KHALIA2 3/11/2020
Great info! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!! Report
KITT52 3/8/2020
Good to know. Report
DWROBERGE 3/8/2020
great ideas Report
DWROBERGE 3/7/2020
fantastic Report
GOFORGIN 3/7/2020
Ok Report
I think I'd rather have someone else running the roller than try to move over it myself. Report
BIKE4HEALTH 3/7/2020
good stuff Report
KHALIA2 3/6/2020
You look so comfortable while using the equipment! Report
DWROBERGE 3/6/2020
great article Report
DWROBERGE 3/5/2020
great ideas Report
LIS193 3/5/2020
Good information Report
DWROBERGE 3/4/2020
great info Report
LOSER05 3/4/2020
Thanks Report
ONLYME33 3/4/2020
looks like a workout in itself Report
SERENASEA 3/3/2020
Thank you for this article. I'm one of those people who see others using the foam rollers at the gym but can't seem to "get it" on my own. I asked the head trainer if they could offer a one-time class on using foam rollers, and his reply was that he'd be happy to show me if I signed up for three personal training sessions. Huh. I like my gym but I sure haven't been able to connect with the trainer(s) since "my" trainer moved on. Report
GOFORGIN 3/2/2020
Ok Report