Foam rolling is a flexibility exercise to allow our muscular system to operate efficiently. We have gone through the importance of it a few times on the blog post why it is important to form roll, and an upper body foam rolling routine post. Therefore, I wanted to share a lower body foam rolling routine, for runners, lower body workout days, or for those who have problems with the lower back.
Because alignment is important to prevent injury when foam rolling, with every step place the hands underneath the shoulder. this allows the body to not only balance it self, but blanaces the muscles properly to prevent injury.
Starting on the right leg, laying on your side, place the foam roll right above the knee, with the other leg behind or in front. Place the right hand or forearm arm on the ground, whichever provides you with more balance. Roll all the way up to your thigh and down to just above the knees. Roll 5 to 7 times and the same on the other side. This is a very tight and tender area for most individuals, so don’t forget to breath!
Often a neglected area to foam roll, but a crucial area to prevent injury, is the muscles surrounding the hip. When working on the right side of the IT band, tilt the body another 45 degrees, open the right legs and foam roll on the inside of the leg. It is easier if you use the edge of the foam. Perform 5 to 7 rolls each side and extra 5 small rolls directly below the hip bone.
Next rotate the body completely till you are facing the ground. Place the foam roll directly below the hips and place your hand on the ground. Roll through out the entire quad muscle for 10-12 times. On places where it feels tender, stop and sit there for a few seconds, and breath. Because this is a larger muscle, tilt to place pressure on one leg at a time, or even point the toes in and out to hit different areas of the quad muscle.
Moving onto the other side of the body, starting with the glutes. We will start on the right glute muscle by sitting on the foam roll and leaning into the right. Cross the right leg over the left leg and left leg can either go straight or foot on the ground. Place the hands on the ground behind the foam roll. Then roll each side 5 to 10 times.
Move the roller down to right above the knee, both legs straight ahead. Because it’s a larger muscle, roll only the bottom portion of the muscles for 10 times and then the top portion for another 10 rolls. Roll a few times pointing the toes outwards to hit the interior hamstring.
Place the foam roll underneath the calves, and bring your butt up. Perform small rolls through the entire calves, as well as stopping and placing pressure on tender spots. You can even turn the feet out to target the outer calf muscles or face them in to target the interior muscles. Perform 5 rolls through the entire calves feet pointed forwards, 5 with your feet turned out and 5 more feet turned in.
Best to use a lacrosse ball/tennis ball to apply greater pressure to those muscles. Next month will show a routine using a lacrosse ball for muscles that are difficult to work on with the foam roll .