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A lot of moms have inquired about foam rollers and what to do and how to do it. If you haven't already got a foam roller, seriously consider it. They are relatively inexpensive and help to work out some impossible knots, as well as also being a good support for various exercises (including core exercises).
Here are my top 5 foam roller uses:
Okay moms, so this isn't exactly a spa-like experience ... but it gets the job done! By slowing rolling over various parts of your achy body (perhaps from carrying your baby all day), you'll help break up adhesions and scar tissue and speed up the healing and recovery process. Use it to loosen up common areas of tightness such as your outer thigh, quads, or upper back. How: Position yourself on top of the roller and use the weight of your body to slowly roll back and forth over it (as if you're using a rolling pin to roll out some dough for the kids' dinner tonight). Try not to use your arms for support, but allow your bodyweight to relax over the roll.
Ever notice how tight your upper back is? Perhaps the diaper bag is too heavy or your toddler refuses to walk and you end up hauling around a 30 lbs child half the day. So if you're in need of working out those knots in your upper back, place the roller under your shoulder blades and cross your arms over your chest. Lift your hips off the floor and use your body weight to apply pressure on the tight area - hold up to 60 seconds. And what about that crazy tension in your neck. Start by lying on your back with the roller under your neck. Allow your head to rest on top of the foam roller so that you feel a gentle pressure on your neck. You can slowly turn your head to the side. Hold this for up to 60 seconds.
3. Enhance Core Work
You looking for a way to up the intensity in your current ab routine? Try adding a foam roller and you'll force your core to work harder to help balance your body on the unstable surface. Don't forget to keep your pelvic floor muscles engaged (more to come on Core Breathe and the Core Rehab).
4. Improve Stretching
It's easy with our hectic mom schedules to never set aside time to stretch. Get a foam roller and you may just want to make time ... the softness and gentle give of a foam roller makes it a perfect prop for stretching. Plus you can increase your range of motion in a hamstring stretch by propping your foot up on the roller or do the same thing with your arm to deepen this stretch for your lats. Try even using it for extra support when stretching your hip flexors - slide the roller under the front of your thigh as you lunge forward with your opposite leg and sink your hips down the floor.
5. Foot Massage
Moms, I know how badly we all need foot massages and our partners just don't put in the work. In this case, do it yourself; slip off your shoes and try this easy foot stretch/massage. Stand with your foam roller under the arch of one foot. Gently apply pressure to the arch by leaning your weight forward and slowly roll your foot back and forth over the roller. Viola!