Want to feel better all day? You need these easy foam-roller exercises from Self in your life.
Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchart
You train like an athlete—so you should recover like one, too. One of the best ways? Foam rolling. It helps to restore some of your muscle tissue mobility by getting blood flowing to affected areas, explains Kyle Stull, MS, LMT, NASM-CPT, manager of content education for TriggerPoint. It's basically a serious, deep-tissue self-massage. To kick off the day pain free, Stull suggests targeting at least one of these three areas every morning: your calves, quads and thoracic spine (trainer speak for your upper back). "With the positions that most people are in during the day — like sitting in an office chair or driving a car — these areas of the body take the most stress," he says.
Whether you have time to do all three of these moves—or only just one—get ready, set and roll out. You'll feel looser, more flexible and ready to take on the day.
Source: Trigger Point
Calves: Place a foam roller on the ground and sit behind it. Position left leg in center of roller just above the ankle. Place right leg on top for extra pressure if needed (as shown). Lift body off ground and slowly sway forward and back to bring the foam roller halfway up calf and back down again four times. Then, point left toes toward and away from right side of body (creating a semi-circle like shape) four times. Repeat on opposite side.
Quads: Lie face down with foam roller under left thigh above the knee. Using arms and right leg, begin to move body up and down four times, stopping halfway up left thigh. Then, bend left leg, bringing left heel as close to butt as you can comfortably four times. Now roll up to top of thigh and back for a total of four times. Repeat on opposite side.
Thoracic Spine: Start laying face up with foam roller under your back, near the bottom of shoulder blades. Place hands behind head allowing elbows to open wide. Lift hips off ground and slowly move body up and down four times, stopping when foam roller reaches top of shoulder blades. Then return hips to ground and move torso left and right four times as if you're scratching an itch.
And just like that — a little extra TLC, a whole lot of feeling good later on.