The foam roller is a piece of fitness equipment used to alleviate muscle knots. You can use the foam roller on its own, but it is best used after a warm-up--five to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise to raise your heart rate and increase blood flow is enough.
The hamstrings and quadriceps are major muscles of the leg. You can ease knots out of these muscles by using the foam roller along the leg and holding places of tension for 30 to 60 seconds.
Foam roll the quads: Lie on your stomach and place the foam roller under your right quad below the hip joint. Pull your body forward with your forearms and roll the foam down the quad, stopping at places of tension. Continue until you reach the point just above the knee. Do the left leg, too.
Foam roll the hamstrings: Sit on the floor and place the foam roller underneath your right thigh, above your knee. Place your hands on the ground behind you. Walk your body forward with your hands, allowing the foam roller to roll up to your buttocks. Do both legs.
The latissimus dorsi muscles of the mid-back can be massaged by foam rolling. Your lats attach along the side of your back, and this exercise will roll out the knots at the attachment points.
Lie on your right side on top of the foam roller, with your right arm reaching over head and the foam roller under your armpit. Place your left leg on top of your right leg and your left hand on the floor in front of you. Push off with your left hand and roll over the foam roller as it moves down the side of your body to the bottom of your ribs. Remember to stop and hold for 30 to 60 seconds each time you find a knot. Do the left side, too.
The foam roller is used as a tool to remove knots, but it is also a tool for stretching.
Lie down with the foam roller positioned vertically under your lower back. Relax your body onto the floor, letting your abdominal and back muscles stretch over the foam. Breathe deeply and hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, put the foam roller horizontally along your spine and relax onto it, allowing your shoulders to fall to the floor and your chest to open. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
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