Flexibility & Stretching Zone!

Foam Rollers - the Softer Side of Fitness

By Ryan Krane

At first glance, the foam roller is a seemingly harmless piece of equipment. Not heavy and daunting like a kettle ball or complicated like a pilates reformer. You might wonder what exactly could this soft, comfortable-looking bolt of foam do for my fitness routine?

The foam roller is especially effective when treating clients with any kind of tightness in their bodies, which actually accounts for most of my client base. When used properly, the foam roller can be a vital tool in keeping your body in the correct postural form, thus enhancing your physique and contributing to your overall health. Whether it's the IT Band, glutes, adductors, calves, pecs or thoracic spine, the foam roller can help break down adhesions (tight muscles), reduce soreness, optimize muscle recovery, as well as increase range of motion and enhance overall performance.

By performing these exercises below and in the videos in this email, the foam roller will decrease the tight and tender spots in the body, which allows for muscles and joints to function in a pain-free range of motion. Ultimately, this will improve posture and allow the body to move more efficiently.

Foam Roller Exercises to Try

1. For IT Band
Lie down on your side and place the roller at the top of your hip (Tensor Fascia Latae, TFL) and roll down the side of your leg. Hold on tender spot as it allows the adhesions to break down. The IT Band is probably the tightest and most tender part of the body because we often sit in a flexed position, so the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles and joints is extremely dense and receives a limited amount of blood flow. Repeat on other side.

2. For Adducturs
Lie face down and place the foam roller on the inside of one leg while having the other leg faced away. Hold the leg being stretched in full extension. Hold on tender spot for 30 seconds. Switch sides. This is a great stretch for the adductor complex.

3. For Pecs
Lie chest down and place the roller directly underneath your pec muscle. Hold for 30 sec then switch sides. Many patients have tightness here from internally rotating shoulders and sitting with poor posture.

By using foam rollers as part of your regular fitness routine, you'll relieve tension in your muscles, alleviate pain and eliminate any movement dysfunctions, compensations and muscle imbalances. Although foam rolling is an essential tool used in many training programs today, to truly eliminate tight spots and alleviate aches and pains, you also need to add static stretching, activation of weak muscles and postural alignment training to live pain-free.

More Foam Roller Exercises

Available at RyanKrane.com:

Using foam rollers to stretch hip flexors and quadriceps

Foam Rolling the hip flexors and thoracic spine

Ryan Krane is a certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and one of the leading fitness consultants specializing in corrective exercises in the Los Angeles region. He is helping clients become healthier and pain free with his brand of corrective exercise called The Krane Training Method, which combines flexibility, posture and strength training movements to help clients remedy chronic ailments such as back pain, shoulder pain and other common body aches.

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Ryan Krane
Ryan Krane, Inc.
Corrective Exercise Specialist

Media contact:
Anjanette Oberholzer