Health

Using a foam roller

Prevent injuries by working out the tight spots using this therapist secret weapon

Chatelaine

1. Choose the right roller
Foam rollers come in a few different sizes and shapes. To get the most out of your roller, look for one that’s 36 inches long and six inches in diameter. And remember the foam should be dense enough to support your body weight without dipping.

2. Start on your back
Lie flat on the ground and place roller lengthwise along your spine. Rest your head on one end and your tailbone on the other. Relax arms out to each side. Hold 30-60 seconds.

3. Do our three favourite lower-body rolls (30-60 seconds each). If you come across any extra tight spots, stop and hold for a few seconds.

Back of thigh (Glutes & Hamstring): Sit on the roller, supporting yourself with your hands. Stretch legs out in front of you and lift toes off the ground. Slowly roll from your glutes to your knees, then reverse motion.

Outer thigh (IT Band): Sit in a side lying position on the roller, supporting yourself on your elbow. Using your arms to direct movement, roll down your outer thigh, from your hip to just above your knee, then reverse motion. Switch side.

Front of thigh (Quadricep): Lie face down on the roller, supporting yourself on your elbows. Using your arms to direct movement, roll down your thighs from your hip to just above your knee, then reverse motion.

Image credit: STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation

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