Long Day Roll & Stretch

Foam rolling, otherwise know as Self-Myofacial Release (SMR) focuses on the neural and facial systems of the body. This is a great and almost necessary tool to use, especially for those that sit long periods of time. It is best to use the foam roller first and then stretch. By using the foam roller first you are essentially “turning the muscles off” by stimulating the Golgi tendon organ, creating autogenic inhibition. This allows for a more effective and deeper stretch. Static stretching (images below) should be used after exercise to decrease muscle spindle activity, allowing the muscles to relax and lengthen.

To learn more about SMR visit our page dedicated to all Foam Rolling exercises.

 

Foam Roll:

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 toes slightly flexed toward you

Action:
1. Prop yourself up with your arms and slowly roll back and fourth over calf area.
2. Stop at the most tender spots and…

Hold 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. H

Upon finding a knot 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 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 off the ground. If you have a shoulder injury limiting your range of motion (ROM) do not do this if it is painful.

 

Stretch:

CALF (GASTROCNEMIUS/SOLEUS)

 

Position:
1. Place hands on the ground in front of you. Fingers spread wide
2. Push through your palms, lifting your hips and pulling your chest back
3. Right foot resting on Left

Action:
1. Draw Belly Button in, keeping core tight
2. Push heel to ground keeping a slight bend in the knee – (Gastrocnemius)
3. Bend knee and hold stretch (soleus)

Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side

 

HAMSTRING

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Position:
1. Lie on your back with one foot in the air, a slight bend in the knee and foot flexed. The other leg should be straight out on the ground.
2. Place a strap/towel or belt over your foot or grab your calf with your hands.

Action:
1. Gently pull your leg toward your body. If you can flex your quads. This causes reciprical inhibition (by tightening a muscle on one side of the body (Quads), the opposing muscle must relax and lengthen (hamstring).

Hold for 20-30 seconds.

 

PIRIFORMIS

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Position:
1. Lie on your back, both feet on the ground
2. Place your right ankle on your left knee, flexing your Right foot

Action:
1. Grab your left leg with your hands and pull toward you
2. Use your right elbow to push against your right leg, getting a deeper
stretch

Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds. Repeat on other side

* you can also do this stretch sitting up or on a bench. Keep your chest up and core tight. Place your feet in the same position and lean forward

 

HIP FLEXOR (PSOAS)

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Position:
1. Kneel on the ground. Keep back leg bent at 90 degree angle and bend
front knee with foot on the ground at a 90 degree angle.
2. Slightly tuck pelvis under (internally rotate back hip).

Action:
1. Keep core tight and draw belly button in.
2. Squeeze butt on the side being stretched (knee that is on the ground)
3. Slowly lean/move body forward until you feel a stretch in the front of the hip.
4. To progress the stretch deeper, raise your arm on the side being stretched and slightly bend to the opposite side, while slightly rotating hip back.

Hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds, or until pain eases.
Repeat on other side.

 

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