Foam roller exercises assist you stretch, elongate and treat your muscles. Athletes rely on the foam roller to roll out muscle knots and acquire them back to the sport. This self myofascial release technique helps you avoid costlier treatments provided by massage therapists and physical therapists. You’ll currently be your own therapist when you do your foam roller exercises.
• For the anterior musculus tibialis muscles, ‘kneel’ on the foam roller with your shins down on the roller, like in the yoga child’s pose. Place the foam roller just under the knee caps.
• Keep your arms extended move into front of you for a lot of balance, and pull forward with your hands as you roll down the length of the shins, and to the ankles too if your intuition needs. Roll back up by pushing off with your hands.
• You may have to regulate your arm position or shin position on the roller to search out a comfortable spot for you.
• Do not roll over the knee caps.
• If you wish, cross one leg over the other at the ankle joint to extend the pressure on one side. If you’re up for it and feel you need to use more pressure to your shins, move and try it! With the crossover, you can also target a muscle known as the peroneus muscle in the side of the lower leg.
• For the gastrocnemius muscles in the calves sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Place the foam roller under your calves just below the knee.
• Place your arms slightly behind your buttocks.
• Push off with your arms to roll down the lower leg. You can roll over the ankle and Achilles tendon area as well if your intuition dictates.
• Do not roll over the knee joints.
• To increase the pressure on one side, cross your one leg over the other at the ankle and foam roll the calves and ankles.
• You can roll more to the inside of the leg to target the medial head of the calf muscle or roll more to the outside of the leg to target the lateral head.
• As always, to increase the pressure and the stretch, sink harder with your weight into the foam roller.
When you do your foam roller exercises for your gastrocnemius muscles in your calves and your anterior tibialis muscles in your shins, meditate on the meaning of these sore areas in your life and what it may represent for you. You can also roll the ankle area, if it doesn’t cause you pain.