Foam Rolling

Sean A. Archer

The foam roller is like any other tool in the gym. When used correctly it can increase recovery and decrease muscle soreness. In this article you’ll find the exercises for the muscle groups in your leg, calf, quads, hamstrings, adductors, IT band, and gluteus. To learn about the science behind the foam roller please review my previous article. You can also review these exercises on youtube. As always, whenever you’re beginning a new exercise program please consult your physician.

Piriformis/Gluteus Medias

  • Sit on your left or right gluteus with the ankle of your opposite foot across your quad.
  • Balance on the foam roller with one hand on the floor and the other hand holding the foot resting on the quad. Find the most tender spots, holding until the pain diminishes
  • Roll from the top of gluteus to the bottom finding as many tender spots as possible.

Iliotibia Tract

  • Begin with the foam roller on the hip bone of your left or right side.
  • While keeping your body perpendicular to ground and balancing on your forearm, slowly roll on the IT band.
  • Find as many tender spots as possible, hold to release tension.
  • Change emphasis slightly by rolling side to side.

Hamstrings

  • While sitting on the foam roller, place both hands behind you for balance.
  • Roll on the hamstrings from gluteus to knee.
  • Cross one leg over the other to generate more pressure on either side.

Calf

  • While sitting on the foam roller, place both hands behind you for balance.
  • Roll on the Calf from the back of the knee to the ankle.
  • Do this with the toes pointed upward.

Quads

  • Place your elbows on the floor, face down with your quads on the foam roller.
  • Work your way up and down the foam roller finding as many tender spots as possible.
  • Cross one leg over the other to generate more pressure on either side.

Adductors

  • While balancing on your elbow and hand place one leg (left or right adductor) on the foal roller at about 130 degrees.
  • Slowly roll from your knee to your groin area changing your leg position to find tender areas on your adductor.
  • Shift your weight toward the foam roller to generate more pressure.

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