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How to Foam Roll

We all have our strengths and weaknesses… and one of my primary weaknesses is getting out the foam roller and actually spending some time loosening up my muscles.  For some reason, stretching can get done in my book, but foam rolling is ultra difficult.  But hey, we all have things to work on, right?

Just like most pieces of working out, I’m a lot better with foam rolling when I have a plan.  Below is the plan that I’ve started to follow on my rest days.  I typically start my time off with my usual stretches, but hold them for a minute rather than the 30 seconds I normally go for following my usual workout.  From there, out comes the foam roller!

Foam Roll Circuit Remember to take your time with foam rolling – if you feel tight is a certain area, then take some extra time on that specific part of your body.  While foam rolling should “hurt” a little, it shouldn’t be in a painful way.  It should be in a similar way to when you’re stretching out a sore muscle, rather than twerking a muscle or moving it in an unnatural way.

Ultimately, foam rolling is going to help us increase blood flow, increase range of motion, decrease risk of injury, and decrease recovery time after a workout.  Cosmetic benefits range from decreasing appearance of cellulite to giving you longer, leaner muscles, all the while rolling away tension and stress and protecting your knees.  While a little bit painful, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs.



When foam rolling your hamstrings, roll from the base of your glutes to just above your knees.  We want to avoid foam rolling on your joints across all of these moves.

Foam Rolling ideas to give yourself a deep tissue massage for almost any part of your body. Substitute for massage therapist or use between massages.:

Glutes should focus on the base of the bent leg, so make sure to do both sides to full roll out the pressure that we’re putting on our glutes all day.

Calf Foam Roll | | Foam roll your calf muscles to relieve tension and soreness.:

For Calves, I find that my sore spots are a bit ore sneaky.  I’d recommend rolling slowly down your calves to be able to target and roll out those sore spots.

Foam rolling your illiotibial (IT) band is an excellent way to keep your IT band from getting too tight and prevent ITBS. Here's how to roll your IT band.:

Rolling IT Bands is similar to hamstrings (again, avoid your knee and hip joint!), but is always a bit more painful to me.  It’s where I hold a lot of my tension, and you may feel the same way if you’re a runner or even if you wear heels often.  This is where foam rolling hits home for me.

Hip Strengthening and Mobility Exercises for Runners | ACTIVE:

I always find the Quad/Hip Flexor stretch to feel a bit awkward to get into.  Try not to lean too much on your knee cap for your support leg!


You’ll almost feel like you’re concentrating on your back a bit more than your oblique muscles when foam rolling your Lats.  This always feels like much more of a stretch than I anticipate.

5 Exercises To Fix Hunchback Posture From Office Work:


Foam rolling your Back shoudl focus on your upper back, just below your sholder blades to about an inch lower.  This will feel like a big stretch if you regularly hunch your back at an office, but will ultimately be incresing back mobility.  Also, you’ll see some people at the gym foam rolling their lower back, but I caution you to avoid this, as it pits your back into an unnatural position, arches position aggravating the muscles below.

Follow us on YouTube for notifications of new episodes:    Today, I have a great routine to reduce and prevent lower back pain that will also give you flat, sexy abs. You will look and feel amazing!    Talk to Ashley and get her free guide to Rolling Out!

Foam rolling your Shoulders is really more of a stretch than the actual act of rolling.  Start with your hands extended, clasped in front of you, then slowly extend your arms out to the side, as seen in the picture.  Repeat this at least three times.


What is your typically rehabilitation strategy?

How often, if at all, do you foam roll per week?

Create a great life!

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  • Reply Little Sunshine

    I foam roll only after long runs….and leg day…;-)
    Love that routine, I should give it a try!

    April 19, 2016 at 8:27 am
    • Reply semisweettooth

      Simple and effective. It’s been a game changer for me thus far. 🙂

      April 19, 2016 at 8:35 am
  • Reply Lifestylebites3

    I haven’t tried foam roll until now but it sounds like an amazing stuff to try. Have an awesome Tuesday

    April 19, 2016 at 10:41 am
  • Reply Emmaly Knecht

    I use to foam roll my IT bands a lot because of running, i should probably add it back into my routine at least once a week.

    April 19, 2016 at 5:32 pm
  • Reply Brittany

    Thank you for sharing this, Jessica!! We have a foam roller but I never knew how to use it!! This will be perfect after barre class!! Xoxo B.

    April 20, 2016 at 12:22 am
    • Reply semisweettooth

      It’s seriously incredible. Hope you enjoy trying it out. 🙂

      April 20, 2016 at 8:52 am
  • Reply Sarah W.

    My past experiences with foam rolling haven’t been good! It’s always so painful in the first few minutes, but I hope to get into it more often, so my body feels better afterwards! Love from Austin, TX! XO, Sarah | |

    April 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm
    • Reply semisweettooth

      Definitely! And truthfully, it gets a lot less painful the more often your stretching your muscles out in that manner. Good luck!

      April 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm
  • Reply Semi-Sweet Tooth - Life in My Eyes – Summer 2018

    […] If you’re interested in my foam rolling routine, it can be seen here. […]

    September 5, 2018 at 12:48 pm
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