Foam roller exercises are an excellent self myofascial release technique. Foam rolling improves your mobility, posture and performance in the gym. Plus you feel great afterwords!
In order to perform the foam roller exercises and routine in the videos below, you obviously need a foam roller…
…You can purchase a high quality foam roller at a very affordable price here. It is one of the best investments you can make for your physical health and your well-being.
Note: Before you do these exercises, you should know what you’re in for. Many of them, especially the one for your IT band (1st video) will make you want cry out and scream “uncle.” But as they say: no pain, no gain.
How-To Videos for Foam Roller Exercises
Video credits include YouTube users: jzurilgen & BodySpex.
Iliotibial Tract (IT Band)
Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL)
Anterior Tibialis (Front, Outter Calves)
Foam Roller Routine
Now that you know how do some of the most common exercises, here’s a great way to put them all together in a routine. (Note: this routine also includes some exercises using a lacrosse ball, which can be more precise than a foam roller for targeting certain areas).
Credits to Eric Cressey and Tony Gentilecore for this routine and video (YouTube: ecressey):
6 Important Foam Roller Tips
To conclude this article, I’ll leave you with some basic guidelines and tips to remember when doing foam roller exercises:
- Roll the Pain Away. When you find a trigger point, stop, and roll back and forth over the area, until the pain significantly decreases (usually takes a good 10 seconds). Sure, it may make you want to cry like a big baby, but it’s all worth it in the long run. 😀
- Be Responsive. Yes, foam roller exercises should hurt. But it should be a “good hurt” where you feel relieved afterward. If you experience a serious, “bad hurt,” then stop what you’re doing and reassess because you’re probably doing it wrong.
- Timing. These exercises are generally meant to be done in a slow, controlled motion. So take your time and savor every (painful) moment. Aim to perform each exercise for at least 60 seconds.
- Relax. Your muscles will have a tendency to flex and tense up, especially when you hit a tender spot. Try your darndest to ease into it and allow your muscles to relax. This is how you’ll eventually get rid of the knots.
- Make it a Habit. Do your routine once or twice daily. Set time aside for it just like you set time aside for your weight lifting routine.
- Add it to Your Warm Up. Include foam rolling exercises in your warm up routine for weight lifting. Along with dynamic and/or static stretching, they’ll help loosen you up and improve your mobility/range of motion.