Your foam roller is an important tool for your recovery, but it can also be used for rolling out your muscles post-run, and for activating your muscles pre-run.
Did you know that using a foam roller for strength workouts can help you build core strength? The foam roller creates an unstable environment, requiring your body to use additional core stabilizer muscles to stay balanced during exercises. The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn.
Here are five core exercises you can do with your foam roller:
Bend at your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms. Ensure that your elbows and your shoulders form a straight line, then adjust the foam roller so your shins are resting on top. You’ll want to engage your core while keeping your back in a straight line. Hold this position.
Try 5 reps of a 45 seconds plank, with 3o second rest between reps.
For this second exercise, place your hands on the floor with fingers pointing straight ahead. Shift your body weight onto your hands, and keep your arms fully extended. Your hand should be shoulder-width apart from your body. Now, adjust the foam roller so your ankles are resting on it while keeping your body parallel. Engage your abdominal muscles and bring your right thigh up towards your stomach, bending at the knee. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Repeat for your desired number of reps.
Try 3 reps of 5 knee drives on each leg. Resting for 60 seconds between reps.
Sit on your foam roller horizontally, bearing your weight on your glutes. You can shift your weight onto your hands by putting them on the ground behind you. As you point your hands towards the foam roller, lift your legs off of the floor and extend them straight ahead. Using your core, pull your legs towards your chest bending at the knees.
Try 3 reps of 10 leg pull-ins. Resting for 60 seconds between reps.
Place your hands on the floor and point them straight ahead. Now shift your weight onto your hands, while keeping your arms fully extended (push-up position). Adjust the roller so the upper part of your shins is resting on it. Engage your core and pull your knees towards your hands, allowing the foam roller to move along your shins until it is resting below your ankles as both your knees drive up, then repeat.
Try 4 reps of 6 knee pull-ins. Resting for 90 seconds between reps.
Lie on the foam roller horizontally, resting on both your shoulder blades. Extend your arms in front of you and place your feet on the floor while bending at the knees. Engage your core muscles, and lift your chest towards your thigh. Lower your chest when you reach your thigh and readjust your foam roller between your shoulder blades. This exercise is will engage your additional core stabilizer muscles as you try to stay balanced.
Try 3 reps of 5 foam roller sit-ups with 60 seconds between reps