« Back

Blog

Recover Faster and More Effectively With These Foam Roller Moves

Recover Faster and More Effectively With These Foam Roller Moves

Jonathan Ross

  1. Roll and Hold (RH) – Roll along the length of tissue and hold for about 20 seconds on the most tender spot you find and relax the muscle into the hold.
  2. Pin and Move (PM) – Hold a pressure point and move the joint, creating muscular motion over the pressure point.
  3. Cross-fiber (CF) – Massage perpendicular to the direction the muscle tissue runs.
  4. Crawling Baby

Roller Position: Perpendicular to the thighs
Body Position: Prone on elbows
Method: Cross-fiber

In a prone position on your elbows and with the roller positioned just above your knees on your thighs, rock side to side, bending each knee as you lean away from it.

Double Side-lying Inner Quad (Roller + Ball)

Roller Position: Between the knees running parallel to the shins; position the ball under the outside of bottom thigh
Body Position: Side-lying
Method: Pin and Move

With your knees bent and legs pressing into the roller, bend and straighten the top leg only.

Inner Thigh (Roller + Ball)

Roller Position: Perpendicular and underneath the thigh; position the ball between the thigh and the roller
Body Position: Sitting on the floor
Method: Roll and Hold

Using your hands, gently roll the roller to identify the most sensitive area(s) and then hold.

Calf Massage (Roller + Ball)

Roller Position: Perpendicular to the calf; position ball between the calf and the roller
Body Position: Sitting on floor
Methods: Roll and Hold, Pin and Move

Using your hands, gently roll the roller to identify the most sensitive area(s) and then hold. In the same spot, begin pointing and flexing the foot several times. Then draw circles with the foot several times in each direction. Move the ball to a new spot on the calf and repeat the sequence in a new area until all sensitive areas in the calf are explored.

Glute Roll

Roller Position: Perpendicular to the torso, under one side of the rear hip
Body Position: Sitting on the roller on one glute with the bottom ankle crossed over the top thigh
Methods: Roll and Hold, Pin and Move, Cross-fiber

This familiar move is often performed somewhat inattentively, rolling back and forth with little intention. We are going to be more deliberate. Roll to identify the most sensitive area(s) and then hold (roll and hold.) In the same spot, begin pulling and pushing the knee toward and away from you (pin and move.) Now move your entire body to and from from the roller, pivoting on the point of contact between the roller and the hip (cross-fiber.)

Conclusion

Two questions many people have about rolling are: (1) What parts of my body should I roll? (2) How much should it hurt? If the area is tender like a deeply sore muscle, only when you press on it, feels a bit knotted, or you know it is an area of chronic concern due to your personal activity and injury history, then you probably need to roll it. As for how much it should hurt—it should be “comfortably uncomfortable,” but not wince-inducing painful. When things hurt a lot, it creates a negative physiological and psychological response. High pain causes a tightening and restricting response in the nervous system and also creates an unpleasant association with that activity—which you should certainly avoid if you’re expecting to perform a little bit of foam rolling every day to ensure healthy tissues.