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How to Foam Roll Like a Boss

You’ve probably heard your chiropractor talk about the benefits of the foam roller. A small cylinder, the foam roller is used to relieve muscle tension, correct muscle imbalances, increase range of motion, and prevent injury – all in 15 minutes a day! Here’s how you can use your foam roller to its highest potential.

Hip Flexors

Hip flexors allow you to lift your knees and bend at the waist, so they’re a pretty important group of muscles. They can also cause some trouble. To use your foam roller on this muscle group, start face down on the floor with both thighs on the roller and your forearms propping up your torso. Roll up two inches, then down one, making sure to spend extra time on any knots or trigger points you come across. Remember the motto here is to search and destroy! Continue until you have hit the entire front of the thighs, about 60 seconds each side.

IT Band

If you’re a runner, you’re probably intimately aquainted with your IT band.  The IT band helps other muscles to extend, abduct, and rotate the hip and helps to stabilize your knee. Rolling this out can be painful, but it will be worth it later.  Lie on your left side with the outer thigh on the foam roller and the left forearm holding up your torso. Roll between the knee and the hip bone, again paying attention to any tender areas. If this is too much pressure for you, plant the top foot on the ground in front of the leg you’re rolling out to take off some pressure. Do this for 60 seconds and then switch sides.

Hamstrings

You all know what the hamstrings are, because chances are it’s been sore once or twice in your life. To get a good roll on this one, start in a seated position with both thighs on the roller, hands propping you up by your sides, slightly behind you. Roll out the hamstrings and increase the pressure if you need to by lifting one thigh off the roller. Continue for 60 seconds, and don’t forget to repeat the action at the back of your thigh on the both the inside and outside!

Glutes

The butt. The glutes do a lot for you and rolling them out will make you feel awesome. Sit with the right ankle crossed over the left thigh and plant the left foot on the floor with your handing propping you up at your sides. Roll your body forward and back making sure to hit all parts of the glutes. Roll each side for 60 seconds, taking extra care with any trigger points.

Upper Back

Lying on your back with your knees bent and the roller under your shoulder blades, cross your arms in front of your chest. Engage that core and raise your hips off the ground making sure to keep your head and neck in a comfortable and neutral position. Roll up and down the upper to mid back for 60 seconds, or until your muscles relax.

Make sure to ask your chiropractor at your next appointment about foam rolling and what it can do for you!

Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Retis

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