By Meghan Burrows, Recreation Therapist, BSc. PTS
We love to hate foam rollers. Traditionally used to work on smoothing muscle fascia either pre- or post-workout, foam rollers are best known for increasing the range of motion in joints after use. Using a foam roller to guide your body into accurate and proper positioning gives this average piece of fitness equipment an advantage to increasing stabilizer muscle engagement. Utilizing the “rolling” surface, you can treat it as a smaller stability tool. The reduced surface area creates a more challenging dynamic, especially when using it for single leg movements. You can find this piece of equipment in every fitness center, and it has become a staple in many homes as well, making it a versatile and low barrier tool to execute your core training anywhere, anytime.
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds for four rounds. Take 60-90 seconds break in between each round. For single leg exercises, complete 30 seconds per leg.
Guided Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
Begin standing straight with one end of the foam roller placed on your right toe and pressing the right hand on top (A). Keeping a small bend in the left knee, hinge forward from the hips, actively pressing the foam roller into the toe to guide your right leg up and lowering your torso to parallel with the floor (B). Slowly return to the starting position with control and repeat for all reps.
Rolling Hamstring Curl
Lying flat on your back, place both ankles hip-distance apart on the foam roller (A). Engage your glutes and raise your hips off the floor while rolling the heels towards your butt (B). With control, roll the heels away until your legs are straight, then repeat for all reps.
Rolling Reverse Lunge
Begin in a split stance with the laces of your back foot placed on top of the foam roller (A). Bend both knees and lower your hips, rolling the foam roller along the shin (B). Return to the starting position, then repeat for all reps. Switch legs and repeat.
Get into push-up position with palms on the foam roller (A). Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the roller (B). Pause for two counts, then press back up to the starting position. Repeat for all reps.
Begin from the knees, and place palms on the foam roller (A). Slowly push the foam roller away from your body one hand at a time, walking the roller out as far as you can or until you have reached full extension (B). Return to the starting position by squeezing through the ribs and walking the roller towards you. Immediately repeat.