Basic Foam Rolling (start to finish) Lower Body

This video demonstrates the basic technique for the lower body from start to finish.

Welcome! I’m Brian Hagan with HealthySteps.  Our vision is to give you the education, techniques, and support to help your steps on your unique health journey.

Today I am just going to go through the muscle of the lower body that the foam roller works well with. And cover the very basic technique. I know I talked about it in the other video. I’m just going to give you an idea what a basic foam rolling session would look like. We are going to start with the calf muscles. I am basically going to put my calves up on the foam roller. You need to lift your body up. Now if you can’t lift your body up just push your body back and forth. I’m just sliding my rear-end across the floor. If you can lift yourself up and get more weight on the muscle that great. Again you are just rolling back and forth. Now after a couple of day and this gets easier and lass tender you will want to add the movement into the technique. Here is an example of moving the feet will rolling the calf.

The next area is the ITBand. This is a bit more complicated. Again the basic movement is simply moving across the foam roller. Most people just roll on it and thats okay. You can put your forearm down to support you or if you want to get up a little higher then come up on your hand. Simply roll back and forth. Now when I add movement I need to get the top leg out of the way. Also when I incorporate movement I am not going to roll completely across the ITBand. I roll a little area and the bend and straighten the leg.
Once the ITBand is worked move the foam roller down onto the outside area of the lower leg. This is called the Perneal muscles. These are important muscles to work. I can lean on my forearms and roll back and forth. I can also raise up on my hands and work the muscle with more weight on it. Remember to roll from the ankle to the just below the knee. To add the movement for this area just scooping the foot up and down. Or moving it inward and outward. That will really work this area.

Now lets focus on the quads or the front of the upper leg. Basically, you are just going to lay on the foam roller and roll back and forth. This is very basic rolling back and forth. Remember work all the way up to the hip and the to just above the knee. To add movement you want to just bend and straighten the knee.

To work the groin muscles. Place the foam roller parallel to your body. Bring your leg up to your side to a 90 degree angle to your body and place it on top of the foam roller. You may see people with their leg back straight behind them, which is an okay position. It is better if you can get the knee to 90 degrees, because it puts a good stretch to the muscles and you can get deeper. Also make sure your hip is horizontal or parallel to the floor. This may be difficult for some people to do so do the best you can without straining your hip. The movement will be from right to left so that the foam roller rolls into the groin and then out toward the knee. To increase the depth straighten and bend the knee.

Last group of muscles we are going to work are the muscles of the shin. These are typically not foam rolled I think because few people know they are here. They are very important and can cause some problems if overly tight. Start by kneeling and placing the foam roller perpendicular to the leg you are working. Place the working leg on the foam roller and lean slightly to the outside edge of the leg. Now just roll forward. If you need support place a sturdy chair next to you to hold on to. To add motion move your foot up and down. you should feel those shin muscles move.

Okay that was the basic techniques for working the muscle of the lower body. Especially the calves, quads, ITBand, groins, Perneals, and the muscles of the shin. We did not cover the hamstrings or the glute muscles, because the foam roller does not do a good job with those muscles. We will have another video using another tool that really does a great job loosening up the hamstrings and the glutes.

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