How To Foam Roll Your Body

a trainer watching her client use a foam roller
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Foam rolling is one of the best things you can do to preserve your joint health. Here are 6 different ways to use your foam roller to maximize fitness and health benefits:

Target: Back muscles

Step 1: Control your body as you slowly lower the targeted area so it’s centered above the roller.

Step 2: Lower your body onto the foam roller and gently roll back and forth until you feel release.

Target: Back muscles/lats

Step 1: Lay down with the foam roller under your arm pit. Using your arms for support, increase the amount of pressure on the muscle until you feel a manageable level of tenderness.

Step 2: Then, roll the length of the muscle to about mid rib area at about 1 inch per second looking for the most tender area.

Step 3: Once you’ve found the most tender area, hold the position and pressure there for the recommended time. Maintain posture throughout. 

Step 4: Repeat on the other arm.

Target: Hips/glutes

Step 1: Sit directly on top of the foam roller, so that it’s right underneath your glute.

Step 2: Place both hands behind you for support, and bend both legs.

Step 3:. You can use your right hand to gently place your left ankle onto your right knee.

Step 4: Slightly lean to the right and gently roll back and forth until you feel release. Repeat on the other leg.

Target: Quads/thighs

Step 1: Begin by supporting your bodyweight in a plank position with a foam roller positioned horizontally between your quads and the floor.

Step 2: Roll the quads muscles from the hip down to the knee.

Step 3: Gently roll back and forth until you feel release. Repeat on the other leg.

Target: Hamstrings/thighs

Step 1: Using your hands, lift hips off of the floor and shift your weight on the foam roll to one leg.

Step 2: Relax the hamstrings of the leg you are stretching.

Step 3: Roll over the foam from below the hip to above the back of the knee. Repeat on the other leg.

Target: Calves

Step 1: Sit on the floor with your left calf resting on a foam roller and place the roller an inch or two above the Achilles tendon.

Step 2: While supporting yourself by placing your hands on the mat slightly behind you, shift some of your weight to your left calf and roll yourself forward one or two inches so the foam roller gets closer to the back of the knee.

Step 3: Slowly move the foam roller back to the starting position above the Achilles tendon. Repeat on the other leg.

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