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4 Foam Roller Exercises to Relieve Muscles

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4 Foam Roller Exercises to Relieve Muscles

Even though foam rollers aren’t brand-new additions to the plethora of gym equipment in the world of fitness, they’re still emerging in popularity. However, foam rollers have been used by professional athletes and trainers for at least a decade.  

You might ask, "What’s the big deal about them anyway?" Well, foam rollers promote a speedy recovery from workouts by working out the knots that develop in the muscle tissue in the aftermath of rigorous exercise routines. Ideally, they help you spend more time working out with as little recovery time as possible.

Here are four foam roller workouts that will help ease those sore muscles after a long, hard, workout session.

1. Chest Stretch

The chest almost never receives as much attention as it should—even though we subject it to super rigorous workouts like barbell and dumbbell bench presses. Chest stretches also help with the stress of sitting at a desk all day long.

How to Do It

  1. Lie down on a foam roller that supports both your neck and your tailbone.
  2. Be sure the foam roller is lying underneath the length of your spine.
  3. Bend your knees to allow a neutral alignment of the spine.
  4. Next, spread your arms out beside you in a "T" shape so that your chest muscles are stretched out.
  5. Let your arms hang down to emphasize the stretch, if you want more of a stretch wave your arms from side to side along your trunk.

2. Illotibial band Stretch

The illotibial band is a large stretch of fibrous tissue that runs right from the hip down to the knee; it plays a major role in day-to-day movement. Most lower body exercises like barbell squats, jogging and kettle bell swings depend on the IT band for function. Foam roller exercises will ease soreness and tension in the band.

How to Do It

  1. Lie on a horizontally positioned foam roller so that your body forms a "T" in relation to the foam roller just under the hip area.
  2. Support your body weight with the foam roller and your arm.
  3. Slowly roll your body over the foam roller between your hip joint and your knee joint.
  4. Roll over that side of the band slowly as needed.

3. Latissimus Dorsi Release

The area that stretches from your back and upper ribs to just short of your kidney area often gets sore after upper body workouts like wide-arm pull-ups, barbell dead-lifts and barbell snatches.

How to Do It

  1. Place the foam roller under the Latissimus dorsi.
  2. Using your legs to push off the ground, slowly rock your entire body back and forth over the foam roller while allowing the foam roller to slowly massage the affected area.
  3. Be sure to maintain normal breathing while rolling for about a minute.
  4. During the exercise, your hands should be behind your head or clasped around your chest.

4. Rotator Cuff Release

Rotator cuff strain occurs with a lot of exercises that include a throwing or punching motion. Foam roller exercises are perfect for providing release and easing out the soreness in the area.

How to Do It

  1. Place the foam roller under your shoulder blade area and use your legs to move the area over the foam roller to create a soothing massaging motion.
  2. Try to breathe normally while keeping your muscles as relaxed as possible.
  3. Repeat the motion for as long as a minute.
  4. Stop if the motion starts to get uncomfortable or too painful; this way, you’ll avoid further injury to the muscles.  

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