How To Ease Muscle Soreness With A Foam Roller

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree
1 of 9
Prev
Next
credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

The foam roller is your friend. This simple and handy device can reduce muscle soreness, speed recovery, and even relieve stress. Taking a few minutes out of your day to roll out the knots in your muscles will help you train harder, perform better, and avoid injury. Here is a good starting routine for the foam roller (a small, firm ball - like a racquetball or tennis ball - will help you reach smaller, deeper muscles). Make a pass or two over each group, pausing and taking deep breaths when you find a sore spot. Don’t overdo it, less is more here. Keep your attention on the experience in your muscles, breath, and mind.

Quadriceps

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Lower yourself onto your hands and knees to lay the front of your thigh on the roller. Moving slowly, trace the central, inner, and outer edges of your thigh to release the quadriceps. You can work both legs at once, or go one at a time.

Hamstrings

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Place your hands on the ground and position the rear of your thigh overtop the foam roller. Make slow, gradual passes up the middle, inside and outside of each leg, one leg at a time.

Calves

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Start in the same position as you did when rolling your hamstrings, only now the roller will be underneath your lower leg. Roll out your calf gradually, paying special attention to the area where your calf muscle connects to your Achilles. To add intensity, position your non-rolling leg overtop the rolling leg as a weight.

Iliotibial band

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Prop yourself up on one side and rest your upper, outer thigh against the foam roller. The sensation on this move can be quite intense, so go slowly and be kind to yourself. Bend the non-rolling leg at the knee and position it on the ground if having your entire body weight on the roller is too much.

Hip

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Sit on the roller with your knees bent and drop your legs to one side. Lean the rest of your body towards this side, putting more of your weight into the muscles of your outer hip resting against the roller. You can also use a ball to reach knots here by sitting with the ball under your outer hip.

Back

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Starting with your shoulders on the roller, slowly walk yourself back and forward to release the muscles of your back. Use your arms to support your neck if it tires. To work the sides of your spine, lean to one side and angle your knees the same way.

Feet (and bonus stretches with the ball)

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

To relieve tension in your feet and plantar fascia, roll the sole of the foot on a ball. You can start with a softer ball, like a child’s bouncy toy, and work your way to a harder ball, like a lacrosse ball, if you want more intensity. You can also use the ball to break up knots in the pectoralis muscles in your chest – just use your hand to roll the ball overtop the affected area. The ball will also help you access the piriformis, an often-tight muscle located deep in your buttocks. To do this, sit with the ball underneath one side of your buttocks and breathe.

Workout By Sage Rountree

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree

Rountree’s latest book is The Runner’s Guide to Yoga. An endurance sports coach and yoga teacher, she leads workshops on yoga for athletes nationwide and online at YogaVibes Find her online at sagerountree.com, on Facebook [facebook.com/sagerountree], and on Twitter [twitter.com/sagetree].

Iliotibial Band Stretch and a Hip Replacement

credit: Sage Rountree Sage Rountree
1 of 9
Overview

The foam roller is your friend. This simple and handy device can reduce muscle soreness, speed recovery, and even relieve stress. Taking a few minutes out of your day to roll out the knots in your muscles will help you train harder, perform better, and avoid injury. Here is a good starting routine for the foam roller (a small, firm ball - like a racquetball or tennis ball - will help you reach smaller, deeper muscles). Make a pass or two over each group, pausing and taking deep breaths when you find a sore spot. Don’t overdo it, less is more here. Keep your attention on the experience in your muscles, breath, and mind.

PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.