Our legs contain some of the most powerful muscles in the body. Their job is to carry us around every day. They take us up and down stairs, run us around and even propel us through the water. It is no wonder that they get fatigued and prone to injury. Many find that their legs can get incredibly sore after a workout. With the help of a foam roller, you can take care of your legs before and after workouts to prevent injury, decrease stress and ease soreness. In this article, we will discuss various foam roller exercises and stretches you can do on your legs.
Foam rolling for the feet
Many people seem to forget that you can use a foam roller on your feet. But a foam roller can actually be an incredibly easy way to massage your feet for instant relief. To use a foam roller on your feet, stand with the foam roller underneath the arch of the food. Gently apply pressure to the arch by putting body weight on your foot. Roll your foot back and forth on the foam roller in a slow, steady motion. To apply more pressure for a deeper massage, stand with both feet on the foam roller. While grabbing onto something sturdy, gently roll back and forth.
Foam rolling for the calves
Using a foam roller on the calves can relieve intense pressure and stress on tired legs. To massage the calves with a foam roller, position the foam roller underneath your calf muscle. There are several ways to roll this muscle. You can place both calf muscles on the foam roller (if your roller is long enough) and roll back and forth. You can also place one leg on the roller and use the other leg on the side to control stability and pressure. There is also the option of stacking your other leg on top of the leg being rolled for increased pressure and massage. Once you have figured out the position that works for you, slowly roll up and down the length of the calf muscle for relief.
Foam rolling for shins
Many people may not know that you can actually use a foam roller on your shins. Shins can be one of the most painful areas for many athletes. If you are looking for relief, try using a foam roller on them. To do this, get on your hands and knees. Place the foam roller just underneath the knee and slowly roll down the length of the shin to the top of the foot. You can also foam roll the side of your shins by laying on your side and stacking one leg on top of the other. Place the foam roller underneath the bottom leg along the shin muscle. Bring your knees up to your chest to slowly roll up and down the length of the muscle.
Foam rolling for the IT band
Many athletes suffer from IT band pain. To relieve IT band pressure, a foam roller works great. If you want to try foam rolling on the IT band, lie on the floor on your side. Stack your legs on top of each other. Place the foam roller on the side of your quad muscle. Using your arm for stabilization, slowly roll up and down the length of the IT band.
Foam rolling for the TFL muscle
If you are experiencing IT band pain, you may benefit from rolling the tensor fascia latae muscle as well. To do this, lie on you side and place the foam roller at the very top of the quad muscle. Extend the top leg out for support. Slowly roll up and down the top of the quad muscle.
Foam rolling for adductors
If you are experiencing tension and pain inside your thigh, the culprit may be the adductors. To use a foam roller on the adductors, lie mostly flat on the floor. Place the foam roller parallel to your body. Lift one thigh and place it on the foam roller, bending the knee downward. Slowly roll up and down the length of the thigh.
Foam rolling for the piriformis
Many people have tight glutes and piriformis. It doesn’t have to be athletes, either. Even sitting can cause them to be tight and uncomfortable. Using a foam roller on these muscles can help to relax the muscles and ease tension. To use a foam roller on this area, sit on the roller and left a leg to rest the foot on the opposite knee. Lean back onto one buttock and roll forwards and backwards for a few minutes. Using the supporting leg to control movement and pressure. Roll for a few minutes.
Foam rolling for hamstrings
Hamstrings can be one of the tightest muscles on the body. Injuring them can put an athlete out for weeks. To prevent injury and keep hamstrings nice and loose, try using a foam roller. Start by putting the foam roller on the ground. Position the back of your thighs on the foam roller, using your hands for support behind you. Slowly roll back and forth for a few minutes.
It seems like there are endless possibilities for using foam rollers on legs. If you invest in using a foam roller, take the time to learn all these exercises. They will help you minimize stress, relieve pressure and prevent injuries down the road.