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  • Best Health PT

Do you have a foam roller laying around at home and no idea how to use it?

A foam roller is a great tool - it’s versatile, effective, and quick. Unlike traditional static stretching, foam rolling helps to release muscle and connective tissue more actively while enhancing range of motion, flexibility, and muscle recovery. It can be performed before or after exercise. 

We put together a list of some of our favorite ways to use one and wanted to share it with you.

  1. Quadriceps + Hip Flexors

  • On your forearms (think plank pose) and either one or both legs on the foam roller, roll slowly from the front of the hip to just above the knee cap

  • If you find any specific tender areas or “knots”, feel free to linger on, just above, or just below this spot to ease it

  • Feel free to put more pressure on the right or left side as needed

  • Slowly roll up and down for ~ 1 minute

2. Hamstrings

  • On your hands or fists, roll one leg at a time working from the back of the hip to the back of the knee

  • Slowly roll up and down for ~ 1 minute

3. Calves

  • On your hands or fists, work from behind the knee toward the Achilles

  • Slowly roll up and down for ~ 1 minute

4. Pecs

  • Lie down on the foam roller so that your tailbone and the back of your head are both supported; keep knees bent with feet flat on the floor to prevent rolling off

  • Extend both arms out to either side with palms facing the ceiling

  • Remain here for 3 - 5 minutes, feeling a gentle stretch in the front of your chest

  • *This could be a good opportunity to work on your deep breathing!*

5. Foam Roller Dead Bug

  • This is NOT a stretch, this is an exercise progression! If you are already a master of the traditional dead bug core exercise, consider this alternative

  • In the same position as listed at the pec stretch, keep your core engaged as you move opposite arm and leg

Give these a try! Stay well, don’t forget to stretch, and make time for yourself to be active. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BHPT. We’re here for you.

All photos from Medbridge

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