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Foam Rolling 101

by Maxine Patronik

in community

photo via Flickr

photo via Flickr

Foam rollers are an excellent way to keep your muscles healthy – especially now that summer is upon us, with classes picking up and intensives beginning.

You can use them on practically any part of your body:

  • hamstrings
  • quads
  • calves
  • glutes
  • upper back
  • IT band
  • adductors

Using a foam roller is very simple,  all you have to do is pick a muscle to roll out, and use your body weight to apply as much pressure as you need. I like (well, I don’t necessarily like doing it) to roll out my tight IT bands, and although it’s pretty painful, foam rolling lets me apply deep pressure in order to relax and get rid of lactic acid. My muscles always thank me once I put in the time to roll them out. Remember that it doesn’t have to be painful, though, because you can control how heavy or light you apply the pressure.

Pointe Magazine posted a great article about rolling out before vs rolling our after dancing, and they concluded that it is better for your muscles to roll out before doing any dancing. There are also countless videos demonstrating how to use a foam roller for different muscle groups, from your IT band to your lats. To get you started, here are some videos to check out. Happy foam rolling!

For your IT Band:


For your Lats:


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