Foam rollers, used to apply pressure to certain parts of the body in order to relieve pain and prevent injury, are a crucial piece of kit for any fitness fanatics. As physiotherapist Anna Clayton explained in her recent blogpost, this type of self-myofascial release can help to “mobilise connective and soft tissues (muscles/tendons) that stretching alone or gentle massage doesn’t quite achieve”. What’s more? It’s simple, time-efficient and inexpensive too. Here’s a no-nonsense, full body routine to get you started…
Place a foam roller underneath your upper back and cross your arms in front of you, extending your shoulders with your hips raised off the ground. With your core tight, roll from the top of your back to your mid-back.
With your feet on the ground and hips raised, place the foam roller beneath your lower back. With your weight on the back, roll backwards and forwards over the muscles on the side of your spine. Repeat this with the muscles on the other side.
Place the foam roller under your glutes, your knees bent in a usual sitting position. Cross one leg over the other and place your ankle on your alternate knee. With the weight on the side of your crossed leg, roll backwards and forwards over your bum. Repeat on the other side.
Lying on your side, put the foam roller under the upper part of your bottom leg (between your hip and your knee). Cross your top leg over your bottom leg and place it bent out in front of you. With your weight on your bottom leg, roll from your hip right down to your knee. This can be a little painful so only put as much weight on your bottom leg as you can manage. Repeat on the other side.
Sit down on the floor, and put the foam roller under your hamstrings. Supporting yourself with your hands on the floor behind you, raise your hips up off the floor, and move your weight over to one leg. Roll down this leg from hip to knee, focusing on any points of tension, several times before switching and repeating this on the opposite leg.
Similar to when rolling your hamstrings, sit down on the floor, and put the foam roller under your body – this time under your lower leg. Supporting yourself with your hands on the floor behind you, raise your hips up off the floor, and move your weight over to one leg, crossing one leg over the other if this is comfortable. Roll down you’re the length of your calf, focusing on any areas of tension, before switching and repeating on the opposite leg.
Place your weight on a foam roller under your quads, as you face the floor, supporting by your forearms. Place your weight on your quads and roll up and down from your knee to your hip.