Basic Foam Rolling

Welcome! My name is Brian Hagan with HealthySteps. Our vision is to provide you with the support, education, and techniques to help your steps on your unique health journey.


I going to talk about the basic use of a foam roller. Whats important here is consistency. The more you use this every day the more benefit you are going to get. If you use it once every month you’re not going to get the benefit. You should spend about 5-10 minutes foam rolling the lower body every day. Some people do more and that’s fine. Keep in mind consistency is better. Doing 8 hours of foam rolling once a month is going to get you whole lot of pain and no benefit. Also the more you use it in the beginning the less in time you will need to use it. If you can foam roll twice a day in the first two weeks for 10 minutes then you will be able to drop it down to maybe once a day or once every other day. Depending on how your body responds.

Before we get started we need to talk about the purpose of using a foam roller. To many time I see people using a foam roller as if it was a trip to the spa. Theyʼre relaxed. They got their gin and tonic, their fitness magazine
and they are just gentle rolling along. That is not effective foam rolling.  The purpose of the foam roller is to get the scar tissue, adhesion and junk out of the muscle and to elongate and flush the muscle. If you want better
flexibility and less stiffness and tightness. Then you need to use it for that purpose, believe me the pay off will be well worth every minute. Also keep in mind the more you do in the first 2 week of foam rolling the
less pain full it will be in the future and the less you will need to do.

Just rolling the muscle
This is the most common and basic technique. You are just placing both calves on the foam roller and rolling the calf muscle up and down the foam roller. Basic you can leave your body on the floor and simple move back and forth. To get more weight onto the calf muscle simple lift your body up. If you have shoulder issues or tight shoulders then you may want to hold off on this part.
We can do the same thing with the Quads. Basically, I am going to turn over and lay on the foam roller. In the video I am supporting myself with my arms. If tis is to much use your forearms. If that is to much you can simple lie down on your chest. Simple roll back and forth. This is the basic technique for the Quads.
Quick note here. Make sure you roll the entire muscle.

I show you the calves and the quads, but this technique works for all the big muscles of the lower body (calves, quads, hams, groins, ITband, abductors,and Perneals ) Basically just rolling the foam roller over the muscle.

Now once that technique no longer feels like its getting deep enough or its not as tinder you will need to move into a more advance technique. This next technique is using the same position of the muscle on the foam roller, but now we will add movement. We want to make the muscle work while we are rolling over it. Any time you have muscle movement and
compression of the muscle you’re getting deeper into that muscle.

As I work the calf watch my feet. I am moving my foot back and forth with is making my calf muscle contract and elongate. For other muscle just think about how the muscle works and incorporate that movement into the rolling
There are certain muscle groups that you canʼt roll and move at the same
time. The Groin and Hamstrings muscle are a good example. There are
more advance tech to get deeper into those muscle, which we will cover later. Play around with other muscle of the lower body.
These two techniques are a great start. You should spend about 5-10 minutes foam rolling the lower body . It may be bit tinder but if you work it every day you will quickly see and feel a difference. Each person is different so result will vary, but results will come.

For more advance techniques keep your eyes open for Foam Rolling
Advance Techniques.

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