Foam rollers are highly recommended by our physio team as a recovery aid to lessen the pressure and strain on your muscles and joints whilst you work hard to build your strength. Conditions such as sciatica and general muscle soreness from accident or injury can also be aided by gentle foam rolling exercises.
However, if it’s been a while since your last physio visit and you’ve forgotten your moves or you’re looking for inspiration for some new foam rolling exercises to do at home then read on.
Love Your Spine
Lie on your back with the roller just under your shoulders. Bend your knees and raise your hips up and roll along the foam roller to your lower back and up to your shoulders again. Do this a few times a day and it will help align your back. If this feels too much, just bend your knees up and leave your hips on the floor.
Release Your Legs
If you have problems in your shins such as shin splints or suffer with painful calf muscles, using a foam roller can really help ease the tension. Put the roller under your calves while sitting on the ground with your legs straight in front of you. Roll to your ankles and back up to your knees. You can do this one leg at a time if you cannot hold your weight on your wrists as you do both legs.
Roll Away Rigid Thigh Muscles
If you’re prone to cramps in your thighs or if you have been running, climbing or cycling and need to ease the tension then using your foam roller under your thighs will help stretch this out. Lie face down and put the roller at the top of your thighs, and then use your hands to push your torso and feet off the floor and roll to your knees. Repeat this a few times.
To aid recovery and stretch your inner thigh, bend one knee up to the shoulder on the same side and place the roller under your inner thigh on that leg, and roll from the knee to the hip.
If you feel tension, soreness or pressure at any time during your foam roller exercises, then stay on that point a little longer as the roller may help to release a trigger point or muscle knot that has been causing you pain and tension in a wider area. You can experiment a little with your roller too, trying it on new muscles especially after a workout or a long period of sitting or standing if you are not used to this.
The aim of using a foam roller is to relax your muscles so if it hurts, then stop, and consult your physiotherapist.