How To Use A Foam Roller

Lets start with this….

If your muscles are not sore from working out, YOU’RE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH!!!

Says the trainer lol.

When muscles get worked, they expand in size and as they recover they retract.  This fluctuation in muscle size can lead to the pulling of other muscles in the body.  Most commonly when we feel weak in the lower back the pain does not stem from the lower back, but from the gluteus muscles, hamstrings and I.T Bands being tight, knotting up and pulling on the lower back.  This can also happen if you do work your upper back, rhomboid or shoulder muscles in the same way, as they tighten they pull on other muscles.

So what can we do to help alleviate the pain?

Foam Roll!

I recommend you watch the above video if you haven’t already to visually see how to hit each part of the body.  Below are steps of how to get your full body roll on!  Try to roll 10 times each way to start and get a feel for where you’re the most sore, then concentrate on the areas you feel you need it the most.

Remember that the recovery part of fitness is just as important, if not more important, than what exercises we do, we must listen to the body and help it become its healthiest by giving it what it needs!



UPPER BACK – SHOULDERS : Place the roller at the base of the head along the Cervical Spine.  Press the hips and pelvis area up to the sky and slowly start to roll down your back to the thoracic part of the spine rolling over the rhomboids.  (Ladies be sure to watch that your hair does not get caught under the roll)

LOWER BACK :  This is an important part to be careful of, be sure to keep your chest at an incline so that you can control the weight over this part of your spine.  (See the video for example)

GLUTEUS MAXIMUS :  Your butt.  You’re guaranteed to be tight here.  Sit on the roller lean to the side slightly and roll back and forth.  Then switch the other side.

HAMSTRING :  Again, another place you’ll be tight.  Place the hands on the ground to raise yourself up allowing your full body weight to press down on the roller.

CALF:  Keep the same hand placement to allow full body weight compression.


SHINS:  If you’re a runner you absolutely want to be sure to roll out your shins to prevent shin splints.  Place your forearms on the ground as if doing a forearm plank.  Shift the shoulders forward and back to roll through the shins.

QUADS:  When working the quads use the same forearm hold shifting shoulders forward and back.


ILOTIAL BAND (I T BAND) :         This is going to hurt, no, really, it is.

Place the side of your leg on the roller, with both hands on the ground and slowly start to roll down toward your knee.  Try to keep the feet off of the ground to allow the full body weight to press down on the roller.   Go slow rolling up and down and then switch sides.

It will be painful the first few times, but remember the more it hurts the more it means your body needed it.  In a few weeks it wont be nearly as bad!


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