Live Better
 
 

5 ways with a foam roller

How to use foam rollers to keep your muscles limber, especially after running and weightlifting

Man doing foam rolling on gym floor

Tension builds up in our muscles for a variety of reasons including poor posture, incorrect exercise technique and general lifestyle factors. A foam roller is a simple piece of equipment that can be very effective to help release this tension. Here are five exercises that use a foam roller to target different parts of your body.

illustration of woman doing foam rolling

Mid to upper back

Use this exercise to ease out tight muscle and tissue across the thoracic spine. Hold the foam roller adjacent to your armpits and use your body to move the roller slowly down until you find a tight spot. Maintain pressure on the tight spot for at least 20 seconds.

illustration of woman doing foam rolling

Hip to knee

This exercise targets the iliotibial band that runs from the hip to the knee. Loosening up this band and its associated muscles will create better outcomes for walking, running and any activity using your hips and knees. Start with the foam roller at your knee and roll slowly upwards along the banded fascia until you find a tight spot. Hold it there for about 20 seconds and repeat on the other knee.

illustration of woman doing foam rolling

Calves and Achilles

Release calf tension with this simple move by placing the foam roller at your Achilles heel and roll it slowly up towards your knee until you find a tight spot. Once you do, hold it for 20 to 30 seconds before releasing it and swapping legs.

illustration of woman doing foam rolling

Glute max

Our glutes hold a lot tension and this exercise is a great way to ease out some of it. Start by leaning one edge of your buttock on the roller, cross that leg over your other knee, and then internally rotate the hip. Roll back and forth until you find a tight spot and hold the position until you feel the tension released. Repeat on the other side.

illustration of woman doing foam rolling

Hip flexors

This exercise targets a very tight band of muscle and connective tissue that can sometimes be hard to reach. Starting on one side of the body, put the foam roller on the pressure point where the leg joins the hip joint. Move slowly to find that little ball of tension and hold the foam roller on it for about 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat the action to release all the knots and switch sides.

Foam roller tips provided by Jonathan Parkins, Personal Training, Melbourne.

Illustration credit: Sara Hingle

From your calves to your upper back, foam roll your way to tension relief.

Latest Articles

Exercise

Making sports accessible for kids of all abilities

AllPlay helps to create more inclusive play spaces.

Read more
Exercise

How to make your workout a game

Recharge your motivation by injecting an element of play.

Read more
Exercise

Physical activity hits a 10-year high

Data reveals Australians are exercising more.

Read more
Exercise

How sport can inspire recovery and connection

Jocelyn takes aim at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018.

Read more
Exercise

The healing power of sport

The Invictus Games celebrate the unconquered spirit.

Read more
Exercise

How to train for a running event

Tips to get you crossing the finish line smiling.

Read more
Exercise

Hiking for beginners: how to get started

The gear you need, staying safe, and where to go.

Read more
youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickWellbeing and mindfulness 1Physical Health 1Positive psychology 101 1Wellbeing and mindfulness 4All about gut health 1Understanding Genetics 4Planning for Pregnancy 2During Pregnancy 3The mind-gut connection 4The mind-gut connection 1New Parents 3Page 1Group 10During Pregnancy 2Page 1Physical Health 2Planning for Pregnancy 1Positive psychology 101 1Positive psychology 101 4Planning for Pregnancy 4Understanding Genetics 1Physical Health 4Planning for Pregnancy 3Nutrition 4New Parents 1New Parents 3 CopyMovement for your mind 4Wellbeing and mindfulness 2Nutrition 2sob-icon__mind-bodysob-icon__man-with-laptopAll about gut health 2Positive psychology 101 3Positive psychology 101 2Physical Health 3Wellbeing and mindfulness 3All about gut health 3genetics-changing-what-your-givenUnderstanding Genetics 2During Pregnancy 1Movement for your mind 2Movement for your mind 1Movement for your mind 3During Pregnancy 4