The essential foam rolling routine

Give yourself better posture and flexibility with these foam roller stretches for morning and night.

Written by Medibank
Side view of woman rolling on foam roller with friend at health club. Female athletes are exercising together in gym. They are in sports clothing.

Many of us — whether we’re regular runners, yoga junkies or simply work at a desk — are familiar with the discomfort of tight and sore muscles. Certain exercises, poor posture or overuse can contribute to muscles becoming tight in some areas, however if you’re experiencing sore muscles, help is at hand.

Research has shown that foam rolling, while it’s known for being a little painful, can help to reduce muscular fatigue and post-exercise soreness1, not to mention improve flexibility, posture and restore a healthy range of movement. Read on for a step-by-step guide on targeting key problem areas, and remember to check with your doctor before starting any new physical activity regimen.

Thigh muscles

  1. Start in a forearm plank position with the roller placed under your thighs.
  2. Roll your body downwards until the roller reaches just above your knees. Then, roll back up until it reaches your hips.
  3. Continue for 30 seconds.


  1. Start in a seated position on the floor, with your legs extended straight.
  2. Place the foam roller under your hamstrings, and lift your body up so that your weight is resting on it.
  3. Roll up and down so that the foam roller is moving slowly between the back of your knees and your glutes.
  4. Focus on any spots that are particularly tender, and continue for at least 30 seconds.

Upper back

  1. Lie on your back and place the foam roller underneath your upper back. Bend your knees, and place your arms either down by your side, crossed over your chest or rest behind your head to support your neck.
  2. Lift up into a shallow bridge position, and slowly roll over the foam roller between your upper back and the middle of your back.
  3. Repeat this movement for at least 30 seconds


  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended, and place the foam roller underneath your calves.
  2. Lift yourself up so that your weight is resting on the foam roller, then cross your left leg over your right.
  3. Using your arms to push your body, roll up and down the foam roller
  4. Complete for 30 seconds, the switch legs to focus on your left.

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1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25415413

Written by Medibank

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