Your aching muscles can ache for days but you cannot just stay at home instead of going to the gym. It’s time you bring home a foam roller.
Foam rollers are inexpensive and versatile pieces of equipment that help you work out the knots in your muscles. Not only does it prevent injuries in the long run but also enables you to sculpt an incredible set of abs at a much faster rate.
So, what are you waiting for? Here are some of the best foam roller exercises that will reduce inflammation and improve flexibility in your workout sessions.
Foam Roller Exercises for Your Back
Regularly using a foam roller can offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage.
Foam Roller Exercises for Upper Back
Here’s an excellent exercise for your upper back according to Oxygen Mag:
- Lie down on your back and rest the broad side of the roller under your shoulder blades
- Now, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor
- Lift your behind and position your hands behind your head or simply cross your arms over your chest
- While keeping your core muscles tight, start rolling forward and back so that the roller moves up and down between the middle of your back.
Foam Roller Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Do not let your sore back hinder your workout. Here’s an excellent foam roller exercise for lower back pain according to Men’s Fitness:
- Rest yourself on the floor and in a seated position place the foam roller under your lower back
- Protract your shoulders and cross your arms in front of you
- Slowly lean back and raise your hips off the floor whilst keeping your weight on your lower back
- Start rolling back and forth, keeping your weight to the side and not on the spine
- Roll over your lower back
- Repeat on the other side.
Foam Roller Exercises for Hips
There are several foam roller exercises for hips you can use to reduce knots or sore spots. Your hip flexors are located on the front of your hips. They bring your thighs and chest together when they contract.
It is thus important you perform exercises to release the tension in these muscles. According to Live Strong, here is an excellent foam roller exercise for your hip flexors:
- Lie down on your stomach facing the ground on one side of the foam roller so that your hips are positioned under the foam roller
- The other leg and hip should be positioned slightly off the roller
- Start rolling forward and backward till you find a sore and tense spot
- Apply pressure on the sore spot
- Hold the position for 30 seconds, but don’t increase the pressure
- Relax and repeat on other side.
Foam Roller Exercises for Neck
Daily foam rolling facilitates postural alignment of the neck and provides your neck well needed pain relief by focusing on the tight knots in the neck muscles. If you are looking for an excellent foam roller exercise for your neck, here’s a great one provided by Live Strong:
- Lie down on the floor with the foam roller placed sideways under your neck
- Keep your head up and gently lift your hips off the floor until your weight gently rests on your neck muscles, making sure the foam roller focuses on your neck muscles and not on your neck bone
- Little rolling is involved when working out with the neck. Just apply pressure on the sore spot
- Hold the position for no longer than a minute.
Foam Roller Exercises for Sciatica
An inflamed piriformis muscle may result in Sciatica pain. Sciatica refers to the pain affecting the outer side of the leg, back and hip caused by the compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back.
According to Live Strong, the piriformis muscle is located is located near the glutes. Here’s an excellent foam roller exercise for sciatica:
- Sit on the center of the roller, keeping your knees bent and your feet on the floor
- Cross your left leg on the opposite thigh and lean to the right. This will ensure your glutes are the only part which are touching the foam roller
- Straighten your right knee to roll up your glutes
- Maintain the position for 20 to 30 seconds
- Alternate sides.
It is imperative you do not roll the center of the glutes as it might compress the sciatic nerve.
Foam Roller Exercises for Calves
Apart from bodybuilders, foam rollers are an effective tool for runners and athletes as well. When used correctly, the foam roller can release tension and tightness between the muscles and the fascia. Here’s an excellent foam roller exercise for calves from Runner’s World:
- Lie down and position the foam roller under a calf
- Rest your other leg on the floor and lift yourself off the floor by using your hands
- Start rolling from the ankle to below the knee, rotate the leg in and then out
- Stack on the ankles for added pressure
- Hold the position for 30 seconds.
Foam Roller Exercises for the IT Band
Make the most of your workout routine with this excellent foam roller exercise for IT band by Runner’s World:
- Lie on your side whilst placing the roller near your hip
- Slightly lean forward while moving along your outer thigh
- Bend your top leg while resting your foot on the floor
- Continue to add pressure on the IT band by stacking your legs.
Foam Roller Exercises for Shoulder
It is time you say goodbye to shoulder ache with this incredible foam roller exercise from Live Strong:
- Place the foam roller under your shoulder blade near the rotator cuff
- With your legs, move your body forward and backward
- Start rolling on your shoulder blade region and the back of the shoulder
- Repeat with the other shoulder
With the help of foam roller, you no longer have to worry about going to the masseuse or investing money on a massage therapist. Exercises using foam rollers are the perfect solution for treating sore muscles after workout sessions.