Some people have foam rollers but don’t know what to do with them. It’s almost always like that if there is no one to explain the value of what you have to you. You know that a valuable book can sit still on your shelf gathering dust. In the same way, your foam roller might lay fallow inside your closet, gathering dust. Well, we will give you the guidance you need in this article. We will show you how you can add this amazing workout tool to your daily fitness routine. Amazingly, you can incorporate foam rollers into almost all workouts. Even experts affirm this to be true. One expert told us that foam rolling can improve your motion range, as well as decrease soreness after exercise and neuromuscular exhaustion. But the question is, what foam roller stretches should you be doing?
You can use foam rolling for diverse purposes. But in all, it would improve your performance and mobility. It can also help soothe different muscle groups and lessen muscle fatigue. So you can perform diverse stretches with it. More so, it works well for almost all muscle groups. Essentially, remember that this tool is a self-massage tool. Mainly, as you stretch with it, it should affect soft tissues, including your fascia and muscles. You can stretch your hamstrings, upper back, quadriceps, and calves, among others with this amazing tool. If you’re willing to learn more, read on.
Foam Roller Stretches for Beginners
Stretching your calves
Try this very early in the day. It would relieve stiff or tight ankles. You can also try it after you have sat down all day long. It would improve blood flow. Another great time to try this is after intense leg workouts. It would help reduce DOMS.
- To stretch your calves, sit down on the ground with your legs straight out. Use your hands to support your weight behind you.
- Now, put your foam roller beneath your calve. Then bend your right knee such that your right ankle is resting in your left leg.
- Roll slowly along your right leg’s backside, upwards, and downwards from your knees to your ankles. Repeat the same procedure for the opposite side.
Stretching your hamstrings
If you have to remain seated at your work desk all through the day, you need to do this. Long hours of sitting tighten your hamstrings. You should, therefore, stretch them out after getting home.
- You might also want to stretch your hamstrings after intense leg workouts. This would decrease DOMS.
- To stretch your hamstrings with your foam roller, sit down and place your left leg over your foam roller. Your right knee should be bent, and your hands should be on the ground behind you.
- In this position, roll upwards and downwards from your knee to the area beneath your left butt cheek. Then, switch legs and repeat the same procedure.
Stretching your quads
You should target your quads for stretching before your workout sessions. This would improve your mobility during workouts and helps decrease soreness afterward.
To stretch your quads with your foam roller, lie down with your face toward the ground. Then, place your foam roller beneath your hips. Roll upwards and downwards from your hip to your knees.
Stretching your back
When you have sat down throughout the day, you will need this. It would decrease lower back soreness and/or stiffness.
To stretch your back, sit down on the ground and place your foam roller on your lower back. Your hands should rest behind your head. Now, tighten your abs.
With your abs tightened, bend your knees slowly, moving your roller upwards till it reaches just beneath your shoulder blades. Then, roll back and start again.
Common Questions Beginners Ask on Foam Rollers
1. When to use foam rollers?
The answer to this is not far-fetched. If you regularly work out, then you should use foam rollers. By regularly, we don’t mean daily workouts. Even if your workout routine is not daily, you need foam rolling.
And if you are very active physically, it is advisable to do foam rolling. That would allow you to relieve your tight muscles more quickly. You will also be able to loosen up your knots or trigger points.
2. Why should you use foam rollers?
If you have read the stretches we listed above, you should already know some of the benefits of foam rolling. But aside from those benefits, it affords you the privilege to manage your recovery by yourself. That’s more sustainable in the long term.
More so, foam rolling provides relief, prevents injuries, and improves athleticism. And to cap it all up, foam rollers (at least, the basic ones) are quite cheap and portable. You can even find travel-size versions. You can take those with you while going on a trip.
3. How to choose a foam roller that’s not too intense for you?
Ultimately, your choice of a roller would depend on how much pain you can tolerate. That is not to say that foam rolling would be painful. But you can expect the normal workout soreness. Let’s call that slightly painful. But with time, you’ll get used to it and the pain will become less noticeable.
Tips for Doing Stretched with Your Foam Roller
- Roll slowly and stay on the muscle group you’re stretching for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- If you get to any tight spot, you would most likely experience some discomfort or pain. If this happens, stay on the spot for about 30 to 45 seconds. Under normal circumstances, the tension would release slowly.
- Ensure that you continue breathing, even if there is any sort of pain. If you hold your breath, your muscles will neither release nor relax.
- Drink lots of water daily if you are foam rolling. This is because your body would need water to clear out lactic acid that was released after the rolling.
- In case your muscles get sore after your foam rolling, don’t panic. Just wait for another 24 to 48 hours before you do it again.
- Don’t roll on any bone or joint.
- If there is extreme pain that makes you feel like crying, stop at once. Then, get medical attention.
Once you bear these things in mind, your foam roller stretches should yield maximal results.