Whether your goals are to grow your muscles, strengthen your core, improve your posture, or simply exercise for health related reasons, it’s important to find a method that physically takes care of your muscle tissue before and after your workouts.
There are many preferred methods available for the purpose of stretching and healing your body. I’ve always enjoyed getting a nice massage, seeing the chiropractor, and even tried acupuncture. But because it can become costly, I’ve found that using a foam roller also does the trick. And it can be done from home on your own time!
Also, Amazon is the place to get an effective and inexpensive foam roller.
Try these 3 exercises next time you need a good stretch!
Do you sit all day at work, drive a lot, or lift heavy weights? If you answered YES to any of these, you’d benefit from this stretch.
Instructions – Lay long ways on the foam roller, with your head and tail bone supported. Set your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent. Reach your arms out to a T-shape and press the back of your palms to the ground with your elbows slightly bent. Hold down for 30 seconds then reach your arms across your body and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-4x.
1. Keep your knees bent and feet wide on the ground. Circle your arms up, down and around 5 times then reverse. This is great to loosen shoulder joints, especially if you experience popping noises in your shoulders.
2. Keeping your knees bent and feet on the ground, place your arms out wide in a T-shape, slightly roll your body side to side massaging the tissue around your spine. Position your arms lower towards your hips, or higher towards your head to roll different parts of your back.
Lower Back and Hip Opener:
Great for anyone experiencing lower back tension from frequent sitting, driving, or running.
Instructions – Set the foam roller on the ground horizontally and sit your tailbone on the roller. Place your hands behind you on the ground, then lay back until your head and shoulder blades touch the ground. Open your knees wide and glue the soles of your feet together in a prayer position. Lay with your hips open and your pelvis parallel to the sky for 1 minute.
**Focus on keeping a natural arch in your spine and avoid over extending your low back. Keeping your abdominals contracted helps protect your back.**
IT Band stretch:
Runners, joggers, walkers, weight lifters, leg crossers. This is seriously beneficial for EVERYONE. If you experience pain in your hips, knees, or have a tight lower back, you will appreciate this painful exercise 😂
Instructions – Keeping the foam roller in a horizontal position, lay on one side of your hip with your legs straight and your palms on the ground to support you. Option to come down to your forearms for more support. With your legs glued together, pull your abs in and lift your feet a few inches off the ground. Using your body weight, roller your self up from your knee towards your hip on the side of you outer thigh. Focus on going slower where it hurts the most. Do this for 1-2 minutes on each leg.
Modification – If you experience tension or pain around your knees, keep your bottom foot on the ground for extra support.