What Foam Roller Is Best

Foam Rolling & Post-Workout Stretching for Muscle Recovery

The post-workout stretch routine is one of the most important times for successful muscle recovery. Following an intense work out, make the most out of post-workout stretching by practicing the foam rolling techniques that will best help muscles recover in a timely fashion.

Foam rolling is quickly becoming part of the standard cool-down for many exercising individuals. Does your gym provide members with access to foam rollers for post workout stretching? Not only does this self-massage technique encourage injury prevention, it maximizes your mobility so you’re less sore the next day. Depending on which muscle groups you focus on, there’s a  foam rolling technique that will best suit your muscle recovery needs.

Gym-goers should know that foam rolling and working out should go together like peanut butter and jelly; you will notice improved recovery times if you consistently follow a post-workout stretching routine. Even if the foam roller is not your favorite stretching aid, there are smaller myofascial self-massagers available that help loosen tight joints and may be easier to use.

If you experience “runner’s knee” pain after long stretches on the treadmill, encourage a post-workout stretching routine filled with rolling techniques that target the IT band and adductors.

If you have tightness in either hip, you can use a foam roller or a lacrosse ball to help invigorate and open tight hip muscles. Because youspend so much time sitting down—in the office, car and at home—people of all activity levels can benefit from post-workout stretching that targets the hips.

There’s no one-size-fits-all method when it comes to stretching for muscle recovery.You will want to have softer rollers for nursing sensitive injuries and harder rollers for digging into trigger points or larger muscle groups. You can even try foam rollers with firm knobs or etched grid patterns if you’re looking to get a deep tissue mini-massage out of foam rolling.

Foam Rolling Specific Help – 6 Major Muscle Groups to Roll Out

If you’re new to foam rolling, this guide will walk you through 6 commonly targeted muscle groups. Remember to test out each rolling technique with minimal pressure until you are comfortable. Want to see what each technique looks like? Download our Foam Rolling E-Book and perfect your foam rolling technique today.

CALVES

  • Place foam roller under calves right above the ankle.
  • Balancing yourself on your hands, roll from ankle to knee and back again.
  • To better access trigger points, point and flex your toes while rolling.
  • Make sure your body is not touching the ground while rolling out calves.
  • Tip: To increase pressure on a particular spot, stack legs on top of each other while rolling.

HIP ADDUCTORS

  • Lie on foam roller at an angle so one inner thigh is on the roller.
  • Use both your forearms and feet to balance on the roller.
  • From this starting point, roll all the way down to above the inner knee.
  • Roll only one leg at a time in this position.

SIDES (LATISSIMUS DORSI & TERES MAJOR)

  • Lie on one side with that side’s arm stretched out overhead.
  • Place foam roller under side a few inches under your armpit.
  • Roll towards the armpit and back.
  • Keep your legs and feet stacked to maintain balance.

QUADRICEPS

  • Place foam roller under quadriceps in the middle of the muscle.
  • Keep yourself lifted off of the floor with your forearms.
  • Roll from mid-thigh to the knee and up to the hips.
  • You can roll with one leg or two legs in this position.

HAMSTRINGS

  • Place foam roller under hamstrings in the middle of the muscle.
  • Balance on your hands to keep feet from touching the floor.
  • Roll from the base of your gluteus to your knees to access entire hamstring.
  • Try rolling with toes flexed, pointed and turned out to better treat entire hamstring.
  • Tip: To increase pressure on a particular spot, stack legs on top of each other while rolling.

GLUTEUS

  • Sit on the roller.
  • Place your hands and feet on the floor.
  • Roll back and forth.

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