Foam Roller : Pilates

HOW TO do Pilates with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Foam Rollers are great tool for anyone to use, regardless of fitness level.  You can use Foam Rollers for low impact exercise or to release tight muscles and trigger points with self-myofascial release.

Below is a full 20-minute Pilates exercise using a Foam Roller.  Before starting the video, be sure to grab your mat, your foam roller and move your computer to your practice space.  Enjoy!

As your leading Fitness Equipment and Yoga Supply Store, we offer many Foam Rollers, Muscle Recovery tools and Pilates Equipment at the lowest prices.

Foam Roller : Pilates 2

HOW TO do Pilates with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Choose from 18″ for portability and to massage small areas, or choose the 36″ for more versatility to incorporate into exercises such as these.  We also offer different densities from soft, firm with a soft EVA covering, to extra-firm rollers.  Your decision should take into consideration how sensitive you are in the areas you’d like to massage.  If using during Pilates or exercises, try to select a high-density roller that would hold up to frequent use.

Pilates is amazing… We love how much it strengthens your core and tones your entire body. Try incorporating a Foam Roller into the following Pilates exercises to really challenge your core and build strength. Good luck!

As your leading Fitness Equipment and Yoga Supply Store, we offer great Foam Rollers at the lowest prices!

 

Massage : Back, Hip, Sciatica

HOW TO Massage Back, Hips and Sciatica using Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Here are some helpful tools to assist you with pain in your hips, back and sciatica.

  • Small smooth massage balls (similar to tennis balls, but with variable densities to choose from depending upon your pain level)
  • Large Spiky massage balls (larger balls are better for bigger muscle areas)
  • Foam Rollers are a great way to roll out the IT Band (side of thigh), hips, glutes, and back
  • Body Rolling Ball is a larger durable vinyl ball that is adjustable in inflation and feels good on the larger gluteus muscles and back muscles in addition to hamstrings
  • TheraCane to apply pressure to release knots
More massage tips from Save Yourself website.  To release trigger points in this area, there are several tools you can use:

Foam Roller : Targeting Serratus Muscles with Pilates

HOW TO Target Serratus Muscles with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


The serratus exercise in this video helps to work the serratus muscle which runs from the ribcage to the back.  A short 1 1/2 minute video to strengthen and stabilize the core.

Find your 36″ Foam Roller here.  These are high density foam rollers that will maintain their resiliency and shape for a longer period of time as compared to the white open-cell foam rollers also available on the market.

Half Foam Roller : Uses

HOW TO Use the Half Foam Roller


Featured Product: Half Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Half round foam rollers are a great way for beginners to begin incorporating balance and stability exercises into their workouts.  Depending on the exercise itself, you could either place the flat side or the rounded side to the floor.  The flat side to the floor is the most stable position.

Here are just three exercises you could do with a Half Round Foam Roller.

Exercise #1

Lie on your back on the foam roller so that the foam roller is under your spine with both your sacrum and head resting on the roller.  Knees bent.  Slowly lift one knee, hold, and return the sole of the foot to the floor and raise the opposite knee.  The closer your feet are to the midline of your body, the more challenging the balance exercise.  Start with arms extended in a T-position with fingertips on the floor for balance, and advance to putting hands on your hips and using your core to keep from rolling side to side.

Exercise #2

Lie flat on your back and rest your feet on the foam roller, legs bent at the knees. Keep the hands at your sides. Now slowly lift your back and hips off the floor forming a bridge. Stay in this arched position for a few seconds and relax. Perform 5-8 reps.

Exercise #3

This is a leg extension exercise using a foam roller. Just lie on your stomach. Place the foam roller under your stomach. Start by lifting your legs upward, extending them straight, toes pointed. You can perform this exercise by extending one leg at a time and then alternating. Perform 10 repetitions with each leg.

Foam Roller : Pilates Movement The Swan

HOW TO do The Swan with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Here’s how you can do the Pilates move called the “Swan” while using a foam roller.

There are several kinds of Foam Rollers that you can find in our store – 18″ vs 36″, and textured or non-textured. Currently we only sell high density foam rollers because they are more durable and hold their shape longer.  You can find our selection of Foam Rollers on our Fitness Page.  These items are very versatile and can be incorporated into a variety of both Pilates and general fitness exercises.

Foam Roller : Upper Body Exercises

HOW TO do Upper Body Workouts with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


A High Density Foam Roller will hold it’s shape for a longer period of time than the open-cell foam rollers available on the market.  This will allow you to continue using your roller for a longer period of time with the same amount of support and resistance.  We offer two sizes of high density foam rollers – a 36″ foam roller and an 18″ foam roller.

Foam Roller Exercise – Upper Back

by Elizabeth Quinn

Foam Roller Exercise - Upper Back
Foam Roller Exercise – Upper Back

Photo � E. Quinn

Use a foam roller to massage and release the muscles of the upper back (the trapezius and rhomboids) by positioning the foam roller beneath your shoulder blades. Support your head with your hands and keep your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Use your feet to control your motion and pressure and start rolling toward your head, pausing at any sore spots. Roll back down to the mid-back and repeat.

Foam Roller Arm Exercise – Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps, Teres Major

Foam Roller Exercise - Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps, Teres Major
Foam Roller Exercise – Latissimus Dorsi, Triceps, Teres Major

Photo � E. Quinn

Another hot spot for trigger points and muscle tightness is the shoulder and back, just under the armpit. This is a spot where a variety of muscles all converge as they connect from the back and shoulder blade to the upper arm (humerous).

Use the foam roller to work the latissimus dorsi, teres major and the triceps by lying on your side, with your arm outstretched and the roller positioned under your armpit (just at base of the shoulder blade).

Roll upward, toward the armpit, pausing at any sore spots. Roll back down and repeat. This exercise can take some practice and experimentation to find exactly the right muscles. Take your time and go slow.

Foam Roller : Leg Exercises

HOW TO do Leg Exercises with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Follow along with the follow exercises with your own foam roller – available as a 36″ high density foam roller or an 18″ high density foam roller.

Foam Roller Exercise – Glutes and Hamstrings

by Elizabeth Quinn

Foam Roller Exercise - Hamstrings
Foam Roller Exercise – Hamstrings

Photo � E. Quinn

To work your glutes (butt) and hamstrings (back of the thighs) start by sitting on the roller with the soft, meaty part of your buttock directly on top of the roller. Begin slowly rolling back and forth and slightly side to side to release any tight sports in the muscle.

Slowly roll down your leg toward your knee and work the hamstrings in the same way  (pictured above). Change your position from side to side to work the entire muscle. Slowly roll from the buttock down to the knee pausing on any tight or sore spots.

Increase or decrease pressure by using one or both legs at a time. Roll with your feet turned in and out to cover the entire muscle group.

Foam Roller Exercise - Quads

Foam Roller Exercise -  Quadriceps
Foam Roller Exercise – Quadriceps

Photo � E. Quinn

Releasing your quadriceps (quads) is one of the easiest foam roller exercises. Simply lay on top of the roller using your hands for balance and work the front of the thigh from the hip down to the knee. You can perform this exercise with one or both legs on the roller, depending upon how much pressure you can handle or desire. If you want less pressure, keep one leg off the roller and use the foot to support some of your body weight.

Foam Roller Exercise – IT Band

Foam Roller Exercise - IT Band
Foam Roller Exercise – IT Band

Photo � E. Quinn

Using the foam roller on the IT band can be painful, but many people find it’s one of the most useful stretches you will do with the foam roller.

Lie on the roller on your side, with the roller positioned just below the hip. Your top leg can be in line with the bottom leg if you want a lot of pressure. Or, bend it in front of you to unload some of your body weight and provide better balance.

Use your hands for support and roll from the hip down to your knee, pausing on any tight or sore spots. Repeat on the your other side.

Foam Roller Exercise - Calves

Foam Roller Exercise - Calves
Foam Roller Exercise – Calves

Photo � E. Quinn

Position the roller under the calves. Using your hands for support, slowly roll from the knee down to the ankle pausing on any tight or sore spots.

Roll with your feet turned in and out. Keep toes flexed and pointed to work the entire muscle group.

Increase or decrease pressure by using one or both legs at a time, or placing one leg on the other for even more pressure.

Foam Rollers : Massage & Release

HOW TO do Massage and Release with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching


Foam Rollers are available at our store – available as a 36″ high density foam roller or an 18″ high density foam roller.  The next few weeks will cover a number of exercises for these versatile rollers.  Foam Rollers can be used to release tension and overworked muscles or also as a prop to add challenge to your fitness, Yoga, or Pilates routines.

Foam Rollers for Myofascial Release and Massaging Tight Muscles

by Elizabeth Quinn

Use a Foam Roller
Photo � E. Quinn

Foam rollers offer many of the same benefits as a sports massage, without the big price tag.

The foam roller not only stretches muscles and tendons but it also breaks down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage or myofascial release, break up trigger points, and soothe tight fascia while increasing blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues.

How It Works

The superficial fascia is a soft connective tissue located just below the skin. It wraps and connects the muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels of the body. Together, muscle and fascia make up what is called the myofascia system. For various reasons including disuse, not enough stretching, or injuries, the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue can become stuck together. This is called an adhesion and it results in restricted muscle movement. It also causes pain, soreness and reduced flexibility or range of motion.

Myofascial release is a body work technique in which a practitioner uses gentle, sustained pressure on the soft tissues while applying traction to the fascia. This technique results in softening and lengthening (release) of the fascia and breaking down scar tissue or adhesions between skin, muscles and bones.

Myofascial release has also been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains such as IT band syndrome and shin splints as well as improving flexibility and range of motion.

Foam rollers are inexpensive and with a bit of experimentation you can target just about any muscle group.

How to Use a Foam Roller for Myofascial Release

Using a foam roller is simple, but working some areas may take a bit of practice and some body contortion. You start by finding a relatively open area with some floor space. Position your body with the area you want to work on top of the foam roller. Your body weight creates the pressure that massages and releases tight spots in the fascia. You control the pressure by applying more or less body weight on the foam roller and using your hands and feet to offset your weight as needed. It’s helpful to try a variety of positions and see what works best for you.

Tips for Using a Foam Roller

* Always check with your doctor before using a foam roller for myofascial release.

* Perform foam roller sessions when your muscles are warm or after a workout.

* Position the roller under the soft tissue area you want to release or loosen.

* Gently roll your body weight back and forth across the roller while targeting the affected muscle.

* Move slowly and work from the center of the body out toward your extremities.

* If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position until the area softens.

* Focus on areas that are tight or have reduced range of motion.

* Roll over each area a few times until you feel it relax. Expect some discomfort. It may feel very tender or bruised at first.

* Stay on soft tissue and avoid rolling directly over bone or joints.

* Keep your first few foam roller sessions short. About 15 minutes is all you need.

* Rest a day between sessions when you start.

* Drink plenty of water after a session, just as you would after a sports massage.

* After a few weeks you can increase your session time and frequency if you choose.

* Do not use a foam roller without your physician’s approval if your have any heart or vascular illness or a chronic pain condition.

Foam Roller : Yoga

HOW TO do Yoga with a Foam Roller


Featured Product: Foam Roller 
Purpose: Use for sports training, to help enhance balance, for body awareness, to improve flexibility, and during dynamic strength training. In therapy or rehabilitation they help with muscle re-education and myofacial release. Use a foam roller to self massage the entire body
Compatible Exercises: Pilates, Strength Training, Self-Myofacial Release, Stretching, Yoga


Peggy warns us that she moves fast through these poses, and she does. In just under 5 minutes, she’ll give you lots of ways to use a foam roller with yoga poses. This is not a video to follow along with, but to watch and learn from. She does not explain how to get into the yoga poses themselves, so I would not recommend this to someone who is not already familiar with yoga. Other than that, have fun!

In this video she is using a 36″ foam roller. We offer two different 36″ long high-density foam rollers at our store. A Hi-Density Foam Roller and a Textured Hi-Density Foam Roller.  High density foam rollers will hold their shape for a longer time.  They’ll also offer more support and resistance during use versus the single-construction white foam rollers.  The textured surface of the Textured Roller will grip hard flooring better so the roller won’t slide out from underneath you (versus “roll”), making it great for those working out on wood floors.