Foam Roller

Foam rolling, otherwise know as Self-Myofacial Release (SMR) focuses on the neural and facial systems of the body. Using a foam roller helps adhesions/knots in the muscle go from a bundle position (knot) into straighter alignment with the direction of the muscle. Applying body weight pressure on the foam roller causes autogenic inhibition, releasing tight muscles.

When using SMR you want to roll over the muscle until you find a tender spot (if there is one). This indicates that there is a knot/adhesion present. Once the tender spot is located you want to hold pressure on the spot for 20-30 seconds minimum. This triggers the autogenic inhibition response allowing the muscle to relax…however, the pain must be tolerable allowing you to consciously relax as well.

Using the Foam Roller (SMR) is highly suggested before static stretching (holding a stretch), before activity or during the cool down process from a workout. We want to make it clear that SMR is not the same as stretching and STRETCHING should always be done when the body is warm.

 

 

 

CALF (Gastrocnemius/Soleus)

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Position:
1. Sit on ground and place foam roller under your mid calf on your right leg.
2. Cross your left leg over your right for more pressure if needed.
3. keep your core tight and chest up

Action:
1. Prop yourself up with your arms and slowly roll back and fourth over calf area.
2. Stop at the most tender spots, holding for 20-30 seconds or until pain eases.

 

HAMSTRING

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Position:
1. Sit on ground and place foam roller under your leg right above your knee
2. Cross your left leg over your right for more pressure if needed.
3. keep toes slightly flexed toward you

Action:
1. Prop yourself up with your arms and slowly roll back and fourth over Hamstring from back of knee area to right below the buttocks.
2. Stop at the most tender spots and…

Hold for 20-30 seconds or until pain eases. This may not feel like much if you are not sore but will help with autogenic inhibition (turning the muscle off) so your stretch is more effective.

 

IT BAND (TFL)

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Position:
1. Lie on your side with the foam roller right below hip socket. Cross your top leg over leg on the foam roller and place your foot on the ground (for support and to bear some weight if you are new to this). Keep bottom leg raised slightly off the floor.
2. support yourself with your hands or forearm of bottom hand.

Action:
1. Slowly roll from original placement all the way down just above the knee.
2. Roll back and fourth stopping at tender spots along the way and holding for 20-30 seconds or until pain eases.

Note: this is fairly painful especially for those that have never done it before. Support your body weight with the top leg as needed!

 

PIRIFORMIS

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Position:
1. Sit on top of the foam roller and lean back as you put your right ankle on your left knee.
2. Keep your chest up and core tight, supporting yourself on your hands.

Action:
1. Lean to the left and slowly roll back and fourth over the bum.
2. You will often know when you roll over the piriformis as it is much more tender. Hold here for 20-30 seconds or until pain eases.

 

CHEST OPENER

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Position:
1. Lie face up with head and upper back supported on foam roller.
2. Push through heels to bring hips up into alignment with the rest of the body. If you do not have a bad back and it feels ok, you can rest your bum on the ground.
3. Lie arms by side with palms up

Action:
1. Keep palms up the whole time and “angel” wing arms around you until hands are overhead and touching. Repeat.

*Note: If you are really tight in the chest, your arms might not stay on the ground the whole time. That is ok…let them come up

 

QUADS

Position:
1. Lie over top off the foam roller with your thighs resting on the roller.
Point toes, keeping them off the ground.
2. Support yourself with your hands on the ground or Forearms (if there is
too much strain on the back with hands on the ground)
3. Keep your core tight (no sagging in the low back) and your head in a
neutral position.

Action:
1.Slowly roll back and fourth over the foam roller from your knee to your
hips.
2. If you need more pressure, lift one leg up still making sure to not arch
the lower back.

 

ADDUCTORS (INNER LEG)

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Position:
1. Lie on your stomach with one leg flexed and rotated over the foam roller, so the roller is inside the upper thigh, near the groin.

Action:
1. Slowly roll the inner thigh to find the most tender spot.

Hold for 20-30 seconds or until pain eases.

 

LAT STRETCH (on Foam Roller)

 

Position:
1. Kneel in front of the Foam roller
2. Place one arm on top of the roller with your thumb pointed up
3. Keep your hips aligned and core tight (this can also be done on a Swiss
Ball if you have one), slightly tucking the pelvis under to protect the low
back.

Action:
1. Slowly reach the arm straight out.

Hold for 20-30 seconds

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