Leduc Physio’s Top 5 Foam Rolling Exercises

1. Thoracic extension

Our #1 foam exercise is helping out our posture. We spend so much of our days bent over looking down. This exercise helps open our chest and extends your mid back.


  1. Lie on the foam roller with both head and pelvis supported by the roller. If your head is falling back, place a pillow under your head.
  2. Gently bring your arms out to the side and allow your chest to relax as you stretch your back and chest.
  3. Hold this stretch initially for 15 seconds and then bring your arms up to the ceiling.

Caution: If you have had a previous shoulder dislocation, please use pillows under your arms to avoid overstretching your shoulder joint.

 2. Calves

We love rolling out those calf muscles. Often rolling can be more effective than just stretching your calves.


  1. Sit on the floor with your hands supporting you.
  2. Place the roller under your calf and find a tender spot and hold for 5-10 seconds.
  3. Find a few different areas in the belly of the muscle.

Caution: Remember to not roll under the knee.

 3. Quads

Our quads can often get tight and sometimes you need a little extra besides some quad stretching. Well here’s a great way to get at the quadricep muscles.


  1. Get into a plank position with the roller directly under your thighs.
  2. Gently lower yourself so that you are placing some pressure against your quad muscles.
  3. Move back and forth on the hamstrings focusing on small sections at a time (3-4 inches).
  4. You can slightly angle your pressure so that you get the outside part of the quad muscles.

Caution: Remember to keep your back straight and avoid rolling directly over the knees.

 4. TFL

Rather than rolling directly on the IT Band, focus instead on rolling on the muscle that attaches to it! The Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) attaches to the IT Band near the hip joint (see here). By addressing this muscle you can influence the tension of the IT Band.


  1. Find the side of your pelvis and place the roller inbetween the top of your pelvis and the bony bump of the femur (side of the thigh).
  2. Roll slightly forward so that the roller is now pressing just below the bony bump on the front of the pelvis.
  3. Breathe and relax into this muscle.
  4. You can roll on the muscle doing small movements.

 5. Hamstrings

Sitting for too long can definitely tighten those hamstrings. Here’s a great exercise that can really augment your stretching program.


  1. Sit on the roller with the back of both legs.
  2. Move back and forth on the hamstrings focusing on small sections at a time (3-4 inches).
  3. You can shift your weight so that you place more weight on one leg vs. the other.

Caution: Remember to not roll under the knee.

Images are taken from: https://sporttracks.mobi/blog/how-to-use-a-foam-roller-for-endurance-sports
and : https://www.peagreenphysio.co.uk/foam-roller-tx-jpeg/


To check out our article on the 5 Things Not to Do With Foam Roller click here!