Foam Rolling – A foam roller is a dense foam cylinder used in a type of self-massage to release “trigger points” or “adhesions”, points where the tissue covering your muscles adheres to or “sticks to” the underlying muscle. This technique literally involves rolling out tight muscles is called self-myofascial release or SMR.
7 Foam Rolling Exercises For Your Back, Torso and Trunk:
1. Simple SMR Release
Works for any body part or muscle group. Place the roller on the floor and lie down on top of it. Now roll your body slowly across the roller in the easiest direction to control. You will eventually find a tender spot, almost painful as it crosses the roller. This is a trigger spot, a point where the fiber covering the muscle has unnaturally adhered (stuck) to the muscle itself, causing an adhesion. Hold the trigger point directly on the roller, it will gradually relax and release itself from the muscle. Continue along the length of that muscle, then continue on to the next trigger point.
2. Hip Flexors
Start face down on the floor with one end of the roller under your hips. The roller should be perpendicular (at a right angle) to your body. Slowly roll your hip (one side at a time) from the bottom of an imaginary pocket to the top, at your belt line. Once you have released any tension on that side, switch and roll the opposite side.
3. Upper Back
Lie back on the roller positioned directly below your shoulder blades. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor as you lift your butt off the floor, cross your arms across your chest. Tighten your core muscles and slowly roll forward and back keeping the roller between your lower back and the top of your shoulder blades. Look at the ceiling throughout the movement to keep your neck in line with your spine.
4. Lower Leg/Shins
Relieves pain from shin splints. Hold the roller just below your knees and kneel down on it. Sit back on your heels and try to raise them off the floor as you stabilize your body with a hand on the floor on each side of you. Roll forward and back from knee to ankle. Shift your weight left and right to focus on each shin.
Place the roller on the floor perpendicular to your body, just below your waist. Assume a pushup or plank position over the roller with your upper thigh (quadriceps) resting on the roller and roll from hips to knees and back again, releasing any trigger points.
Sit on the floor with legs outstretched and the roller under your calves. Place your hands on the floor and lift your butt off the floor and roll from knee to ankle and back. To increase the effectiveness, cross one leg over the other and roll each leg separately.
7. Lats, Latissimus Dorsi
Lie on your left side with your left arm above your head and the roller beneath your armpit. Use your right hand to steady yourself as you roll from armpit to waist and back again. Continue until you find and release triggers then roll the opposite side.