3 FOAM ROLLING EXERCISES THAT PROVE THE SAYING “NO PAIN, NO GAIN”
Reach under your bed and grab that foam roller – it’s time to put it to use! Do you ever find yourself feeling tight, stiff, or in pain? You’ve probably visited a physio and ignored their advice, or found yourself at a walk-in clinic to figure-out why that “trick hip” is acting-up again. Well, how about 3 easy rolls you can do right at home? Below, we’ve put together a few of our favourite foam rolling exercises to help you reduce pain, stiffness and get back to doing what you love!
Foam rolling is a great way to improve mobility and minimize joint dysfunction. It’s a form of self myofascial release (SMR) that helps stimulate receptors thereby increasing blood flow to soft tissue, releasing trigger points (knots), and unlocking extended ranges of motion. It is not a cure-all. Rather, should be one modality used in a dynamic warm-up or recovery session to improve mobility. Hit each muscle/side for 1-2 minutes at a pain scale of a 4 or 5/10. Be sure to breath slowly and deeply to allow your muscles and joints to relax. Review the diagram and images for specific roller placement.
1) T-Spine (thoracic spine/erectors) – place the roller above your lowest rib and roll across your mid to upper back. Move your arms around to shift your shoulder blades into various positions to target muscles differently. Creating mobility in this region helps to prevent low back pain and injury.
2) Lats (latissimus dorsi) – place the roller under your armpit while lying perpendicular to the ground. Roll about three inches up your arm and down to your mid-ribs. These muscles are classically tight, which can cause postural and mobility issues.
3) Calves –Start with both legs on the roller at the same time, rolling from above the ankle to just below the knee. Work up to doing one leg at a time, with the other leg crossed over top. Tight calves can reduce ankle mobility, which can cause pain and eventually injury to the knee joint.