Great for balance, strength, and muscle relief, foam rollers are a pretty unique and effective exercise tool!

Whether you’re looking to improve your strength or simply need relief after a hard workout, the foam roller is the way to go. Known for helping boost your overall health and wellness, foam roller exercises vary depending on your particular exercise needs and goals. 

An Invention Of The 1980s

Though balance and strength training techniques have been around for centuries, it wasn’t until 1980 that the foam roller we know today was invented. 

Physical therapist Sean Gallagher is believed to have first used foam rollers for self-massage techniques that he’d teach to his patients. 

Soon enough, roller exercises became linked to dance and other balance-related forms of training and exercise. 

A Variety Of Exercises

The roller is a great piece of equipment because of how versatile it is. If you’re working on strength training, you can find exercises that use the roller to promote both lower- and upper-body strength, as well as overall balance. 

 Some of the most common roller-related exercises include: 

  • The calf roll
  • The upper back roll
  • The groin roll
  • The IT band roll

Ready To Roll? 

If you’re going to add roller work to your regiment, there are a few things you’ll want to consider: 

  • Make sure you have access to a roller. If you don’t have one at home, it’s likely that your local gym will have some on hand. 
  • Determine what kinds of exercises you need. The roller can be used for any number of upper- and lower-body exercises. 

Start Rolling 

A great exercise to start with is the table roll. This core-focused workout uses the roller underneath your ankles, and can be great for working both your glutes and quads as well!

To start: 

  1. Sit upright with your legs extended on the foam roller. The roller should be just underneath your ankles. 
  2. Put your hands on the floor behind you with your fingertips outstretched and facing away from your feet. 
  3. With your hips lifted, slowly move forward on the roller. 
  4. Carefully swing back in towards your original position. 
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the desired number of repetitions. 

A Highly Beneficial Piece Of Equipment

Not only do they support muscle strength and overall balance, but rollers can be useful for reducing tension as either a post-workout cooldown or a pre-workout warm-up. Additionally, they’re fairly easy to come by and can be stored conveniently so that you can use them in your own home. 

More Ways To Roll 

For a variation on the table roll, turn your hands so that your fingers are facing the roller and your feet. This will provide a more intense upper-arm workout. 

Another exercise to try is the single-leg wall squat. This exercise works by putting the roller against the wall and using it to move the body downwards into a squat. 

Grab Your Roller And Go 

The foam roller is great before, during, and after any workout. This unique piece of equipment and the exercises that come with it are certainly ones that you’ll want to have in your wheelhouse!

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