Feeling tight after your workout? It’s time to get foam rolling. Foam rolling helps to reduce muscle pain and increase blood flow, using your body weight to apply pressure to any knots or tight spots.

Known as ‘self-myofascial release’ and previously only used by athletes, more and more active people are now feeling the benefits, too. It’s ideal to do before or after your workout and can really help improve recovery time if you do it after your gym session. Simply find the tight spots in your muscles and move the roller back and forth over that area for up to 60 seconds. But don’t skip stretching just because you’ve used the foam roller! Both are essential if you’re training hard. Most gyms have foam rollers you can use, or you can buy them online – Amazon has them from around £15.

Hamstrings

Hamstring release

Hamstring release

  • Sit on the floor and place the foam roller underneath your left knee.
  • Place your right ankle on top of your left ankle.
  • Support your upper body with your arms and lift your bottom off the floor.
  • Roll yourself backwards and forwards over the foam roller.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Take care when rolling over the area behind the knees.

Front thighs

Front thigh release

Front thigh release

  • Lie on your stomach and place the foam roller underneath your thighs.
  • Support your upper body with your arms and lift your torso off the floor.
  • Roll your thighs back and forth over the foam roller.
  • Be careful not to roll it over your knees.

ITB

ITB release

ITB release

  • Lie with your right hip on the foam roller.
  • Bend your left leg and place your left foot on the floor in front of your right foot.
  • Support your upper body with your right forearm and your left hand.
  • Use your arms to roll from your hip to your knee and back again.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Don’t roll over your knee joint.

Glutes

Glute release

Glute release

  • Sit on the foam roller and place your hands behind you.
  • Place your right foot on your left knee.
  • Lean slightly over to the left.
  • Roll forwards and backwards over your bottom.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • Use a small movement.

Calves

Calf release

Calf release

  • Sit on the floor and place the foam roller underneath your right calf.
  • Place your left ankle on top of your right.
  • Support your upper body with your arms and lift your bottom off the floor.
  • Roll yourself forwards and backwards over the foam roller, covering the area from your knee to your ankle.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • If you find a tender spot in the muscle, hold the position for a few seconds. Don’t roll over your knee or ankle joints.

Back

Back release

Back release

  • Lie on your back on the floor with the foam roller underneath your upper back.
  • Place your hands behind your head as if you were about to do a stomach crunch.
  • Gently roll backwards so that the roller moves further down your body, while extending your legs at the same time.
  • Make sure your knees are still bent.