I promised a few weeks back that I would post some more ideas on what to do with you handy dandy foam roller. It is my favorite piece of fitness equipment after all. My dog tends to like it too!
Let’s start with a few more examples of SMR. If you don’t remember what that is, reference this article.
First, the calves. These muscles are at the base of your leg and important to the alignment of your ankles, knees and hips. I’ve had numerous examples of clients with knee twinges and pain during knee flexion motion (squats, lunges) whose pain dissipated when we stretched and rolled the calf muscles. It’s powerful stuff.
Here is the video for SMR for the calves:
If you want more excitement in your lives (ok what I really mean is a product that can go deeper into your muscle- but this is exciting stuff for this posture geek) take a look at this beastie ball which deepens the effect of SMR. Yes it’s scary looking but it works really well in certain areas of the body like the calves .
Back to the foam roller. This exercise is AMAZING for working the back muscles. The roller helps you get a bit higher in the exercise and also helps you engage the underarm” muscles when you lift your body. These “underarm muscles” are good to train as they take the pressure off the neck muscles because they “depress” the scapula (nope, your scapula is not depressed).
Just be very careful that you don’t round the shoulders more when you lift by pushing too hard into the roller. This is an easy mistake.
Finally, the roller can be used as a simple balance tool. One of my favorite exercises is the single leg deadlift since it works the glutes, hamstrings, and intrinsic balance muscles. However if you balance is way off, you’ll need something or someone to hold on to. Try a roller! They are not much stability but they provide minimal physical but maximal emotional support for those hard to balance exercises:
That’s is for this week’s episode of “Fun with Foam Rollers” (if you watch Big Bang Theory and get this reference you are on the correct posture list and can geek out with me anytime).
See you on your roller!