If you are looking for a quick and easy way to stretch out your muscles, all you need is a little bit of space and a foam roller. Below, we delve into some of the best foam roller stretch exercises that will help keep you keep muscle pain and aches at bay. Incorporate the foam roller into your warm-up and cool down routine and you will find it really does make a big difference in the quality of your workout.
Foam Roller Exercise That Targets the Biceps
Begin on your side. Hold your upper arm next to the roller. Keep them both aligned with your body. Press the outside portion of your bicep against the foam roller. Lift your hips up off of the floor as you support the weight of your body on your arm and feet. Perform the exercise for 20-30 seconds on each side.
Foam Roller Exercise for the Abs
Lay on the ground with the roller positioned beneath your ab muscles. Rest your forearms on the ground. Reach your legs out and allow your feet to touch the ground. Push with your arms to walk backward. Allow the roller to move along your abs. Proceed to reverse the direction of the foam roller.
Foam Roller That Targets the Inner Thighs
Begin in a push-up position. Place one leg on top of the foam roller. Shift your weight directly onto the foam roller and roll over it in between your knee and hip for about half a minute.
Foam Roller Exercise for the Calves
Begin in a seated position on the ground. Place your hands just behind your body. Put the foam roller beneath the center portion of your calves. Place your weight on your calf muscles. Lift at your hips to rise off he ground. Roll at the knee, all the way to the ankle for half a minute per leg. You can also add a twist to this exercise by placing the foam roller beneath the hamstrings rather than the calves. Try rolling from the back of the knee to the hip for half a minute per leg.
Foam Roller Stretch Exercise for the Thoracic Spine
Lie faceup with feet shoulder-width apart and flat on the floor. Center a foam roller beneath your mid-back or shoulder blades so that it is perpendicular to your body. (Note: You can move the foam roller up and down to target different areas of the thoracic spine while still doing the extension motion.) Extend arms out from shoulders at a 45-degree angle. Reach arms back behind you towards floor and back again for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure that the lower back doesn’t extend — think about pushing the lumbar spine into the ground as you are reaching back.
Foam Roller Exercise for the Latissimus Dorsi Portion of the Back
Position yourself on your left side. Keep your left arm stretched outward along the ground. Position the foam roller beneath your left armpit so it rests perpendicular to yourself. Bend your right arm while putting your hand down for improved balance. Roll up and down. Allow the foam roller to move from your armpit to the area that is slightly above your waist. After you have rolled for a while, switch to the other side. Be sure to raise the thumb of your arm that is stretched out. Doing so allows for the arm to be put in a position that stretches the lats.