If foam rolling isn’t a part of your workout routine already, give it a try. It’s the cheap and easy way to get a deep tissue massage without visiting a masseuse and its benefits range from pain prevention to speedier recovery. By slowly rolling over different parts of your body, you will help break up scar tissue and prevent muscle soreness and injury. Watch the video for five simple and effective ways to use a foam roller from fitness expert Lauren Williams.
Don’t have time to watch? Here’s the full transcript:
Are you sore from working out but don’t have time for a massage? No problem. Try these five moves with a foam roller to avoid injury, increase your flexibility, and reduce pain.
Quads: Come down to the ground. Your left leg is going to be on the ground, and your right leg is going to be on the foam roller. You’re going to start right above the knee, roll down right to the hip area, and then back. Make sure you don’t roll over the knee, but you can roll right over the hip. Switch sides.
Shins: Put the foam roller on flat ground. Come onto the foam roller right underneath your knees on your shines. From here, roll down to where your ankles are and then back to the knees. Be careful not to roll over the knee joint. Go all the way down to where the ankle is so you get the full shin. The shins are often a neglected area—people tend to focus on the back of the leg. But, if you want to avoid getting shin splints and get rid of any of that tightness that happens in the front of your leg, this is a great way to target it.
IT band and upper hips: You will work on rolling out your IT band and your upper hip with a foam roller. Come onto your side. Keep your right leg mostly straight. Your left leg is just there for support. Start at your hip area, and then roll down toward your knee. This is a great exercise if you ever have any knee pain because it helps to take away tension around the knee.
Glutes: Sit right on top of the foam roller. Cross your right ankle over your left knee then tilt toward that bent leg. Roll here. This helps you get deeper into your glute muscle. You should roll your glutes because tight glutes can affect your hips and your back. Make sure to do both sides.
Back: We’re going to roll out your entire back. Take your foam roller, lie down on it, starting at your middle back. Lift your hips off the ground, and you can place your hands behind your head. Roll down toward your upper back and then back to your middle back in one fluid motion—roll back and forth—opening up the chest, opening up the back.