Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘foam roller exercises’

More Foam Roller Coolness

Posted by terrepruitt on August 11, 2012

Foam rollers really are cool, as I stated in my first post about them.  In my first post I talked about how great they are to help you stretch.  In my last post I mentioned that the foam roller can be used to do exercises.  I mentioned that exercises can be progressed by using different surfaces and that the different sides of the halved rollers can be used too.   Most exercises with the foam roller have to do with balance.  A standard exercise can be done with the a foam roller requiring greater stabilization in the core.  A stable core assists with balance, so using a roller adds the challenge of having to balance while doing the exercise.

One standard exercise you can do with the addition of a foam roller is a squat.  One foot would be placed on a halved roller.  Starting off with the roller placed horizontal would be an easier exercise than with the roller placed vertical.  The vertical position would be the one that would offer the greatest challange to your balance.  As mentioned in the last post you can use either sided of the halved roller, standing on the rounded side or standing on the flat side.  With the rounded side on the ground the surface the roller is on makes a difference.  A mat or a carpeted surface would supply more friction and allow the roller a better grip.  A smooth surface would add a greater challange.

A squat ending in a one-legged stance on the roller would be another exercise.  The roller position for this exercise would be horizontal with the flat side on the ground.  You would do the squat and come up to standing on one leg, the leg on the roller.

One of my favorite balance/stabilization exercises is to lie on the full rounded foam roller, just as if you were going to do the stretch I wrote about in my first post.  Lie with the roller along your spine from head to tail.  Lift your feet off the ground so that your lower legs are parrallel to the ground and your thighs are perpendicular, in Pilates the position is called table top.  The goal is to lift your arms off the ground so none of your limbs are in contact with the ground.  It might take a few trys.   You can use your arms to try to gain your balance.  Balance on the roller.  Balance as long as you can.

A great exercise for the glutes and hamstrings is the bridge.  A bridge can be done with your feet on the ground but adding the roller gives it that extra added intensity.  A bridge is where you lie with your back on the ground and press your hips to the sky squeezing your glutes and the back of your legs.  Using the full round roller put both your feet on it.  The height of the roller makes the move more intense and having to keep the roller stable and not allow it to roll make the squeeze even MORE intense.  Give it a try.

These exercises can be done by anyone wanting to gain, improve, or just play with their balance.  These are just a few exercises you can do with a foam roller.

Do you have a foam roller?  Did you try these exercises with it? 

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Different Rollers, Different Things

Posted by terrepruitt on August 9, 2012

It has been over three years since I posted about foam rollers.  I know I post a lot about Nia because I teach it, but I am surprised I have not followed up with some additional posts about foam rollers.  I think they might have become more common since my last post.  I have seen them in gyms now, whereas I had not seen them there before.  They have moved into mainstream exercise and are not just for the more therapeutic type of movements forms.  It is nice to see them being used more frequently because they are a great piece of exercise equipment.  They are affordable and portable.  A great combination for exercise equipment.  Typically they are 4 inches or 6 inches in diameter and they are 12 to 32 inches long.  They are used in their whole form – round – or cut in half length wise.  The different lengths are used for different things . . . obviously.  So goes for the whole round or the half round.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaSince the foam roller is a great tool to use for people ranging from “new-to-exercise” to serious athletes it is nice to have a variety of them.  The halved rollers can be used in the beginning of an exercise program to allow the body to be accustomed to standing on a rounded surface.  The flat sides would be placed on the ground while you stand on the rounded sides.  This could be used as a first step in a conditioning progression.   Flipping the rollers over and using them on carpet could be used as the next step.  The halved rollers flat side up on carpet.  The carpet would help keep the rounded side of the rollers from being really slippery. Then the progression could be the halved rollers on a hard smooth surface.  The smooth surface of the floor would provide the additional challenge.  Next graduating to the long halved roller.  You could start on carpet then once mastered move the roller to a smooth surface.   Eventually moving on to the whole roller.

That is just an example of how the foam rollers can be used for more than just stretching.  Standing on foam rollers in the aforementioned progression would be a way to improve core strength and balance.  And that was just a quick and easy example.  There are many things that can be added to the information above to either make it easier or more difficult and/or to lengthen the progression.

So foam rollers are not just for stretching and improving flexibility and mobility they can be used for improving strength, coordination, and balance.  They are a great thing to add to an exercise program.  There are a lot of different exercise you can do with them.  I am not going to wait another three years to share some of them with you.  I am going to be posting some in my next few posts.  So stay tuned.

Have you seen foam rollers in your gym?  Have you seen people do exercises with them?  Do you exercise with a foam roller?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »