6 Foam Roller Moves To Loosen Tight Muscles

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July 28, 2021

6 Foam Roller Moves To Loosen Tight Muscles

Guidelines Before You Start Foam Rolling

Foam rolling activities should be done on muscles and tissues you identify as tight, stressed, or overactive. Most people can enjoy foam rolling on their own once instructed on how to properly perform the exercises.

During the exercises, it is important to maintain core stability. Use the drawing-in maneuver (pulling the navel in toward the spine) to maintain stability.

Foam Rolling Technique 101

Foam roll technique isn’t complicated if you understand a few key concepts. There are two main techniques: slowly roll back and forth to create friction and a rolling-pin-like ironing-out of the fascia.

The other roller technique is to simply hold still on a tight spot for trigger-point targeting to “melt” away knots.

A typical method to ensure you hit all the major muscle groups is to go from the bottom up: Start with calves, then your hamstrings, then glutes.

How To Use A Foam Roller

Here’s how to use a foam roller:

  1. Slowly roll over whole area to investigate and soften your muscles approximately ten times.
  2. Find your sore spot or trigger point—pin it, hold it, lean into it, add pressure.
  3. Cross friction—knead it back and forth across the muscle.

6 Foam Roller Moves To Loosen Tight Muscles


Here are six simple foam rolling moves that cover the majority of common muscle issues.

For each move, spend at least 30 seconds rolling slowly and gently and if you find a “knot” or trigger points in the muscle you are rolling, stop for a few seconds and let the roller apply pressure to that spot.

It will be uncomfortable at first, but keep breathing and let the roller do its work. Momentary discomfort will lead to long-term relief!

It will also make future workouts better and prevent injury in the long-run.


Back Relief

1) Begin in a slightly reclined position with the foam roller under your mid back, feet hip-width apart.

2) Walk feet slowly forward as the roller glides up your back. Stop and concentrate on any tight areas. (Note: do not foam roll the low back. Try a massage ball on either side of the spine to help relieve tight muscles.) 

3) Move forward and back for 30-60 seconds.


Calf Relief​

1) Begin in seated position with the foam roller directly under the top of your calves and your hands just behind your hips.

2) Lift your hips off the ground and slowly pull body backwards so roller glides up your calf. Move back and forth gently for 30 seconds, stopping at any tight areas.


Hamstring Relief

1) Begin seated with hands behind you, hips off the floor and foam roller under right hamstring.

2) Keep right leg relaxed and long with the left knee bent over the roller and left foot on the ground.

3) Begin to press into the left foot on the ground, slowly moving the body back as the foam roller rolls down the right hamstring. Keep right leg relaxed as you roll.

4) Glide up and down the muscle for 30-60 seconds concentrating on any tighter areas.

5) Switch sides.


IT Band Relief

1) Lay on your right side with your forearm down and the foam roller placed just above knee joint.

2) Bend left knee and place left foot in front of right foot.

3) Relax your right leg as you slowly roll yourself back so the foam roller glides up your leg. Move gently back and forth for 30-60 seconds, concentrating on any tight areas.

4) Switch sides.


Lat Relief

1) Lay on your back with the foam roller at armpit level, knees bent with feet on the floor and hands behind the back of your head.

2) Twisting slightly to the right, push slowly into your feet so your body begins to move back and the roller glides down along your lats on the right. Return slowly to start.

3) Repeat for 30-60 seconds concentrating on any tight areas.

4) Switch sides.


Quad Relief

1) Begin face down with foam roller beneath the top of the thighs and hands below chest with arms slightly bent.

2) Slowly press arms to straight pulling the body upward and forward so the foam roller glides across the front of the thighs.

3) If you choose, you can lean your body weight onto one leg and roll and then switch to the other instead of rolling both evenly.

4) Gently continue to push and pull the roller over the thighs for 30-60 seconds, concentrating on any tight areas.

Try these rolling moves before and/or after any workout, or use them at home any time you need to release your tightness or knots. You can do them every day, but 2-3 times a week is recommended.



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