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Foam Roller for Flexibility

Posted Oct 01 2010 6:48pm

Keli Roberts demonstrating a foam rollerTake the pain out of stretching and give yourself a massage at the same time! It’s difficult to stretch when your body is tight and your muscles are hurting. even getting into the position for the stretch is a challenge. With tight muscles, movement is inefficient and often painful.  Using the 12" long, 4" diameter Foam Roller, instructors will learn three dimensional creative body rolling techniques, stretches, and range of motion mobilization exercises. Learn how to improve posture and alignment, relieve muscle pain and tightness, and increase range of motion. The foam roller assists even the most inflexible, taking stretching from a task to a pleasure.

  • Improves body positioning for stretches
  • Relaxes the muscles, a  myofacial release.
  • Auto massage effect
  • Decreases muscle pain
  • Good for warm up or sports preparation
  • Strengthens key core stabilizers
  • Improves balance
  • Simple and enjoyable
  • Work on a padded mat or progress to a yoga mat rather than the floor, a little padding decreases the intensity of  myofacial release.
  • Experiment with different density of rollers, softer rollers makes the moves more tolerable, for certain muscle groups
  • Progress to using harder rollers, or even a tennis ball for certain body parts
  • Holding extremely sore spots can reduce the pain and relax the muscle
  • Work within your comfort zone, myofacial release can be uncomfortable, especially on areas like the IT band, the quadriceps or the glutes.
  • Stretch to the point of mild discomfort, maintaining good form, posture and alignment.
  • Wear fitted, comfortable clothing, nothing baggy, it gets tangled
  • Tie hair up to keep from rolling on it
  • Bare feet or sox
  • Relax and enjoy it! You’re about to give yourself a full body massage.
  • Roll in and out of your stretches smoothly for a deep massaging effect
  • Use different angels for different muscle groups think of fiber orientation and whether you go along the muscle or across it.
  1. Horizontal
  2. Vertical
  3. Diagonal

Length of rolling action

  1. Long sweeping rolling, best for warm ups and general auto massage
  2. Short concentrated, best for painful spots, "knots" for specific muscle relaxation. Can be quick or slow.
  3. Lumbar spine
  4. Thoracic spine
  5. Rhomboids with elbows together
  6. Upper Traps with elbows together
  7. Bridge & hold
  8. Rear shoulder R/L
  9. Bridge & walks
  10. Thoracic spine mobilization
  11. Mobilize upper Thoracic
  12. Mobilize mid thoracic
  13. Mobilized lower thoracic
  14. Seated glute roll R
  15. Hamstring attachment
  16. Side to side rocking down length of hamstring
  17. Rolling big strokes on hamstring
  18. Glute medius R
  19. IT band 4 small & 2 big rolls (single elbow bridge)
  20. Hip Flexor
  21. Vastus Lateralis 4 small & 2 big rolls
  22. Quads in prone elbow plank Upper Middle Lower 4 small & 2 big rolls
  23. Vastus Lateralis L 4 small & 2 big rolls
  24. IT band 4 small & 2 big rolls
  25. Glute medius
  26. Hip Flexor
  27. Repeat 13-25 L

    Seated on mat, FR behind in horizontal orientation

  28. Side lying
  29. Side lying Lat roll R
  30. Side lying rear deltoid
  31. Side lying Adductor R/L
  32. Upper, middle & lower
  33. Repeat 26-30 L

    Quadruped hands on FR horizontal orientation

  34. Hold neutral & Brace
  35. Raise R/L hand to side
  36. Alternate x 4
  37. Raise R/L hand overhead
  38. Alternate x 4
  39. Tuck toes under and lift knees & hold 30 seconds

    Kneeling on Roller Quadruped hands on mat

  40. Raise R arm & L leg
  41. Raise L arm & R leg
  42. Alternate x 4
  43. Walk roller under shins
  44. Shin rolls
  45. Toe stretch with shins resting on roller

    Turn FR to vertical orientation

  46. Glute roll
  47. Piriformis roll
  48. Spine roll

    Core Stabilization Integration exercises

  1. FR horizontal orientation supine isometric stabilization
  2. FR vertical orientation isometric stabilization
  3. FR on lower shins, horizontal orientation, prone rolling plank
  4. FR vertical orientation prone opposite arm and leg raise

Contact: Keli Roberts www.keliroberts.com email: keli@keliroberts.com

Sources:The National Academy of Sports Medicine, Lower Body Muscular Anatomy. The National Academy of Sports Medicine, Upper Body Muscular Anatomy. Creager, Caroline Corning P.T., Therapeutic Exercises using Foam Rollers. Boyle, Mike, DVD “Foam Roll Techniques". Hillman, Susan K, Interactive Functional Anatomy DVD, Human Kinetics

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