Foam roller is one of the versatile gym accessories that is not so popularly used as it should be. This is a classic tool to build strength and core muscles, increase performance, improve mobility, relieve muscle stiffness and much more. With this lightweight accessory, you can replace lot of heavy and large fitness equipment.

Foam Roller Workout

A foam roller is a long cylindrical shaped foam, available as half round and full round. You can start with half foam rollers and later switch to full foam roller after a few days. Here are some of the foam roller exercises that you can perform daily.
  • Lie flat on your back. Place the foam roller under your lower back, near your buttocks. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and slightly bend your knees. Start rolling back and forth, as you move, push yourself off the ground using your hands and feet. This exercise especially targets the lower mid section of your back. Repeat the motion 15 times.
  • Stand upright against a wall. Now you need to place the foam roller between your lower back and wall. Apply pressure against the roller as you bend down, like you squat. Bend until the roller reaches the mid of your back. Come back upwards to the initial position and repeat. This helps stretch your upper and lower back and relieves pressure. Perform 15 repetitions.
  • Lie flat on your back and rest your feet on the foam roller, legs bent at the knees. Keep the hands at your sides. Now slowly lift your back and hips off the floor forming a bridge. Stay in this arched position for a few seconds and relax. Perform 5-8 reps.
  • Lie on your stomach. Place the foam roller under your stomach. Start by lifting your legs upward, extending them straight, toes pointed. Extend one leg at a time and then alternating. Perform 10 repetitions with each leg.
  • Here is a hamstring stretch using a foam roller. Take a foam roller and sit over it. Place your palms at the sides, fingers pointing towards your body. Move forward from the hip, supporting the movement with hands. Remember, not to roll off the roller. Perform 10-15 repetitions.
  • This one is for strengthening the calves. Again sit upright, placing the foam roller under your right calf. Place your palms at the sides, fingers pointing towards your body. The right foot touching the ground, keep the left foot off the ground by placing its heel on the toe of your right foot. Now start by rolling up and down from your calf, supporting the motion with your hands. Now place the foam below your left leg and repeat. Perform 10-15 reps.
The aforementioned exercises are very effective for runners and those with muscle stiffness problem. Performing these before or after the main workout is best to relieve muscle stress and soreness. It is recommended that one must drink lot of water after performing these stretches. With so many benefits, you are sure to go and get a foam roller. Don't forget to be regular in your workout routine.