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How To Use A Foam Roller | Strength And Conditioning For Triathletes


(swooshing sounds) – Using a foam roller is a cheap and easy way to do self-massage. Keeping your legs fresh and ready for your next training session. And the best part about it, you can take it with you anywhere you go. But, if you are worried
that you haven’t quite got room in your bag to fit this, then you could also use something like a spiky ball, or similar. And it will do the same job. But before we get started,
just a little warning. If you do these exercises properly, they can be a bit uncomfortable
on the foam roller. But on the plus side, you will get a benefit in the long term. (hip-hop music) We’re gonna work from
the bottom to the top. So that means we’re gonna
start with our calf muscles. And you probably notice I’ve swapped for a different foam roller. Now this one is slightly
softer and more forgiving. And that’s ’cause for me, my calves are quite tight and quite sensitive. So, go with what you need. And from this position, take the weights into you hands, so you can lift up. And then you can roll
just nice and slowly. Your calf muscles moving over
the top of the foam roller. And you want to try and get the full length of the muscle right up
’til just beneath your knees. And then very gradually, roll back again. And then, if you find this
isn’t quite enough pressure, you can always put one
leg on top of the other, and then you’re just working
the muscle of the bottom leg. And then roll over that way. But for me, my calves are so tight, that’s actually a little bit too much. So I’m just gonna stick with
doing both legs at once. (upbeat hip-hop music) Moving on up the body, and
staying in a supine position. So on your back. We’re gonna go to hamstrings next. So basically, from just above
your knee, up to your bottom. And this time, I’m opting
to do one leg at a time. So it’s not quite as much pressure. I’m gonna start just behind my knee. And then take the weight
onto the foam roller. Rolling all the way up. And then slowly back down. Now again, if you wanted
to add the pressure, you could do, as I showed you in the past, I put one leg on top of the other. Or, you could do it with both legs at once if you’ve got a wider foam roller. (upbeat hip-hop music) But now it’s time to
move on to your front, into the prone position. ‘Cause we’re going to working
on your quadricep muscles. Basically the front of your thighs. So from just above your
knee, into your hip. And I personally find this exercise easier to do with both legs at once. It’s just a slightly
easier position to find. So, from here, you’re just going to lie over the top of the foam roller. Again, taking the weight in your hands. And you’re gonna roll your body from your hips, down to your knees. And then back again. Nice and gently. And you might need a slightly
wider foam roller for this. (mumbling quietly) (upbeat hip-hop music) And now we’re gonna flip over and we’re gonna work our bottom muscles. Our glute. For this, it’s a smaller muscle, so you’re not gonna be moving as far. And it does mean you can
find your trigger points. If you’ve got an area
that’s a little bit tighter, or sorer than others, you
can spend a bit more time working specifically on that. So basically, you just need to lie your bottom onto the foam roller. And now, I personally do
one buttock at a time. ‘Cause it’s a little bit easier to find the right area and pinpoint it exactly. So just start off by
rolling over and back. Maybe once you’ve found a tight area you can add in a stretch to this exercise. By popping your leg, or your heel, over on top of your knee. Just add the stretching to your glute. You can get into even tighter areas. (upbeat dance music) Well, we’re gonna stay on your front. Just moving up from the
quads onto the hip flexes. Now, any triathlete will know, from lots of cycling, your hips actually are pretty prone to getting tight. So this foam roller exercise is great. So you can see I’ve opted for
the softer foam roller again. Mainly ’cause my hip
flexes are really tight. And I do find it a bit uncomfortable. You’re gonna do one leg at a time. So I can just make it more specific and find the right area
where I really need to work. So I’ll have the weight on my other leg. And I pop the foam roller
just at the top of my quads. And then from here,
you’re gonna roll over it. And over and back. ‘Til I find the area. I’m just gonna twist my hips, until I find the bit that’s really tight. There’s a tight bit. Just there. And then work on those sections. When you found’em. (swooshing music) Finally, we’re gonna
move down to our feet. So you need to take your shoes off. I’m gonna be working
on the plantar fascia. So basically, the bit in
the arch of your foot. And you can either use a spiky ball, or golf ball, or something similar. For this exercise, I personally
like to use the golf ball. Just the size works well for my feet. And what you’re gonna
do, pop it on the ground. And then put your foot on top. And roll it around until you find the area that just feel a little bit tight. You can do it in sitting, so
you’ve got a bit more control. But if you want more
weight over your foot, then try standing up. This is a great exercise. Especially if you’re
doing a lot of running. If you’re new to using a foam roller, it might feel a little bit
uncomfortable at first. But the key is finding the
areas that are tight for you. And working on those. That way, you’ll feel the most benefit. And if you’ve enjoyed this,
give it a thumbs up, like. And to subscribe to GTN,
just click on the globe. And if you want to watch
a video on how to deal with being injured as a
triathlete, just click down here. And if you want some
ideas on how to exercise with a Thera-Band or a fiz-ee-oh band.

Reynold King

20 Replies to “How To Use A Foam Roller | Strength And Conditioning For Triathletes”

  1. Thanks for the great video, it shows how to target each muscle. However, you don't mention how long we should work on each muscle, i.e number of passes or what to do when we find a tight spot. Sorry I've never used one of these before, any advice would be great. Thanks, Simon.

  2. Hello, great advice for any athlete, however I would recommend going way slower so you give your muscles time to drain instead of crushing them. Also consider rolling with your legs rotated 30° inwards and outwards so that you can roll every part of the muscle (specially the calves and the quadriceps, even more so the latter since it goes all the way to the side of you thigh).

  3. I have a love/hate relationship with my foam roller. I also have tight calves so really focus on them when I’m rolling. When I do my glutes, I cross one leg over so I can get into the piriformis muscle as well.

  4. Maybe a basic question, but why roll rather than stretch? What are the benefits? Everyone's going mad for foam rollers at the moment and I don't really see why…

  5. Hey GTN, Check out the Roll Recovery R3 and R8! Great way to roll out a lot of muscles and you can just relax on your couch while you do it! I tend to use this much more than my foam rollers. https://www.rollrecovery.com/

  6. Thanks for this, pulled my glute on the bike and 2 months out from an Ironman! This has helped a lot.

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