You probably know foam rollers as the handy tool that can help you stretch, decrease muscle pain, reduce injuries, relax and massage you, and help you recover from a tough workout, all for cheaper than a single massage.
Seriously, it’s been proven in studies!
But did you also know that you can use a foam roller to up the ante of your workout?
Foam rollers also work great as exercise aids.
Using an exercise foam roller in your workout is a great way to access those pesky muscles that are hard to activate and therefore hard to tone.
One of the leading fitness magazines, Shape says the following about exercise foam rollers: “Performing exercises on an unstable surface is a surefire way to engage more core muscles and make total-body exercises like planks or pushups even more challenging.”
“Performing exercises on an unstable surface is a surefire way to engage more core muscles and make total-body exercises like planks or pushups even more challenging.”
Check out all of our exercise foam roller advice on our website, but first, learn these 10 strengthening moves!
10 Strengthening Moves You Can Do with an Exercise Foam Roller
There are so many product gimmicks on the market today, but all you need for a great at home workout is an exercise foam roller.
Your exercise foam roller is incredibly versatile. Here are 10 great moves you can do to strengthen your arms, abs, and legs.
1. Tricep dips
Target your arms with the extra challenge of balance in your tricep dips.
Place your roller on the ground behind you, perpendicular to your body. Sit on the ground. Reach both of your arms behind your hips and place your hands shoulder-width distance on the exercise foam roller with your fingers pointing forward. With legs extended so that your heels are the only thing touching the ground, bend your elbows to 90 degrees, and lift back up.
2. Tricep lifts
Sculpt your arms with this tiny movement exercise.
Hold your foam roller with both hands, from the bottom, behind your body, horizontally. Lift the foam roller away from your buttocks with straight, engaged arms. This should start to burn those triceps pretty quickly. Level up by doing this exercise in a leg balance like an airplane.
Planking is a great work out. In case you’ve never had to do this tough exercise: it’s simply holding the top of a push-up. It targets your abs, arm, shoulder strength, and more.
Do your plank with your hands on a foam roller to make it slightly easier.
To make it harder, place your feet on the foam roller.
4. Side rollout push-up
If you want to level up your push-up game, you’ll love this challenging foam roller push-up exercise.
In the top of a modified push-up (knees down), place one hand on the foam roller, which should be placed parallel to your body. Move to the bottom of your push-up while rolling your straight arm away from your body. Roll/push back up. Repeat & don’t forget to switch to the other side.
5. Reverse rolling lunges
Booty sculpting is all the rage right now. Tone those glutes with this killer move.
Place the roller behind you, perpendicular to your body. Place one of your legs on the roller so that your shoelace (or top of your foot) is touching the roller. Keeping your knee over your ankle, bend your front knee to 90 degrees and roll your back shin over the roller. Rise up, repeat. Don’t forget to do the other side, too.
6. Boat pose
This challenging core workout is a fantastic isolation exercise.
Level it up in these two ways: balance on the foam roller while extending your arms and legs forward. Maintain this isometric hold as long as you can.
7. Balance squats
Engage your core with these challenging squats.
Stand on top of your foam roller with feet hip-width distance apart or wider. Lift your straight arms ahead of you at shoulder height (parallel to the ground).
Careful to keep your balance, bend slowly at the knees and hips, keeping your torso upright. Try to get your thighs parallel to the ground. Raise and repeat.
8. Overhead squats
Get your arms engaged in your squats too.
Stand with feet hip-width distance apart or wider. Lift your straight arms above you holding the foam roller by the ends or on the bottom, depending on its size. Bend at your knees and hips so that your body stays upright. Try to get your thighs parallel to the ground. Rise up slowly and repeat.
To add an extra challenge during these overhead squats, (if you have an exercise foam roller short enough to reach the sides), squeeze your hands together while pressing your shoulders down your back.
9. Single leg wall squat
Keep it going with this awesome wall squat!
Stand against a wall and squat down to 90 degrees. Place the foam roller between the wall behind you and your back, just below your shoulder blades & parallel to the ground. Lift one leg. Press into the roller with your abs engaged and raise your body up. Roll back down, repeat, & switch sides.
10. Bridge roll
This booty and ab sculptor is also a great balance challenge.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching the ground. Place the foam roller under your feet. Balancing on your extended arms and shoulders, lift your hips. Correct alignment places your shoulders, hips, and knees are in one line of energy. Extend your legs by rolling your feet away from your buttocks. Roll back in. Repeat.
Now Go Try Them Out!
Those 10 great tips should help you feel stronger and see the results of your hard work in no time.
Of course, don’t forget to warm up before your workout to prevent any injuries.
Foam rolling has so many health and toning benefits. Add one to your workout routine and self-massage today.