The five best foam roller stretches that actually work
Folks all over the fitness world are waking up to the power of a foam roller when it comes to muscle rehab, but if that’s all you’re using your foam roller for you are really missing out.
Armed with the five best foam roller stretches we’re going to share with you below you’ll not only be able to blast all of your tired and achy muscles with just enough pressure to relax them after a grueling workout, but you’ll also be able to warm up, cool down, and improve your flexibility and strength all at the same time.
Ready to dive right in?
Let’s get after it!
Get your hands on a quality foam roller
Before we get right into the real meat and potatoes of the five best foam roller stretches, it’s important that we highlight the value of investing in a quality home roller and not just purchasing any old thing that looks like it can get the job done.
You want a sturdy piece of equipment that offers plenty of resistance, one that won’t fall apart after five or six sessions, and a foam roller wide enough to cover the entirety of your back and shoulders in one single roll.
Check those things off the list and you’re ready to rock and draw (no pun intended)!
Foam roll your abs
One of the most impressive of the five best foam roller stretches we’re going to share with you in this quick guide, by foam rolling your abdomen the right way you will be to “workout” your abs while strengthening and releasing them at the same time – boosting your flexibility and speed of recovery all at once.
Just lay down on the floor with the foam roller underneath your lower abdomen and forearms flat on the floor as well. Extend your legs out, with your toes touching the floor, and then “walk” backwards to roll your abs over the roller at least a dozen times or so.
Foam roll your calves
Working out your calves is going to release a lot of tension that almost all of us are carrying around without even realizing it, and you find that your time spent just walking around becomes a lot more enjoyable after you go through this quick foam roll stretch.
Sit down on the floor with your hands just behind your back, placing the foam roller right down in the middle of your calf. Press down with your leg so that you put some pressure on the calf muscle, and then roll back and forth from your knee down to your ankle and then back up again.
Go slowly. You really want to stretch this muscle out, and that’s only going to be possible if you take about 30 seconds or more going down and then 30 seconds or more coming back up. Do this I handful of times on each leg before switching and you feel just as loose as a goose in no time at all.
Foam roll your hamstrings
A quick word of warning here – take this VERY seriously!
The first time that you foam roll your hamstrings you’re going to be in a world of hurt, there’s just no way around it. Almost all of us have hamstrings that are overstretched, overtaxed, and overworked without even knowing it, and when you put your foam roller in this minefield of stress, tension, and knots you’re going to feel the bump, brooms, and pain of releasing all of that pressure.
Seriously. Prepare for the worst, but commit to pushing through it.
Get sit down on the floor the same way that you did when you go about your calves, but instead place the roller underneath your hamstring. Go through the exact same process of moving slowly – trust us – and you’ll literally feel all of that stress, all of that pressure, and all of that tension blowing out.
This is one of the toughest of the five best foam roller stretches to get through (especially the first few times you put yourself through the test), but it has to be one of the most valuable. Suck it up. It’s going to be worth it.
Foam roll your inner thighs
This is not quite as painful or add stuff to get through as the hamstrings set of stretches, but it’s close.
Get down into a modified push-up position, with one leg out slightly to the side so that you can put your other on the foam roller. Shift just as much pressure as you can to the foam roller leg and then go up and down your inner side in a real slow and deliberate pace. This is going to squeeze out some bumps and knots you didn’t even know existed, and you feel like a million bucks when you finally finish up.
Foam roll your biceps
Most people don’t even think about foam rolling any other area of their upper body aside from they are back and maybe their neck, but you’ll want to foam roll your biceps to get them a jumpstart on rest and recovery after a pretty intense workout.
Lay down on your side with your upper arm against the roller, and then use the outside of your bicep to push yourself off the floor. Slide up and down the roller while keeping your body weight pressure on your bicep and you’ll be able to release all kinds of muscle fascia and tension that you didn’t even know was there to begin with!
At the end of the day, we hope you’ll make the most of these five best foam roller stretches. Each of them will provide you with some pretty impressive results, but combine them all together in a routine and you’re really knock it out of the park!