SMR Vastus Lateralis Foam Roll

  • Assume a plank position with the foam roller just above the right knee.
  • Rotate the foot inward to target the outer portion of the quadriceps muscle (vastus lateralis).
  • Place the left leg out to the side of the roller with the knee touching the ground for support. 
  • Lift right foot off ground to increase compression or keep right foot on ground to decrease compression.
  • Keep the core engaged and slowly roll from just above the knee to the top of the leg just below the hip joint.
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Repeat with left leg.

 

SMR Rectus Femoris Foam Roll Single Leg

The SMR Rectus Femoris Foam Roll Single Leg exercise is essential to any endurance athletes flexibility program.

  • Place a foam roll just above the right knee and elbows just below the shoulders in a plank position. 
  • To increase compression, place left leg on the ground. 
  • To decrease compression, roll both legs at the same time. 
  • Keep the core engaged and slowly roll from just above the knee to the top of the leg just above the hip joint.
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Repeat with left leg.

Regression

SMR Rectus Femoris Foam Roll Two Leg

SMR Biceps Femoris Foam Roll

The SMR Biceps Femoris Foam Roll exercise focuses on the lateral muscles of the hamstrings (biceps femoris long head and biceps femoris short head).

  • Place a foam roller just above the knee joint, hands at hips with fingers facing out. 
  • To increase compression, cross one leg over the other. 
  • To decrease compression, keep the other leg on the ground. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground keeping the chest up and shoulders down and back. 
  • Lean slightly to the right to place pressure on the outside of the back of the leg. 
  • Slowly roll up the lower third of the back of the leg.
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to starting position.
  • Repeat with left leg.

 

SMR Hamstrings Foam Roll

The SMR Hamstrings Foam Roll exercise helps to release tension in the middle (medial) hamstring muscles.

  • Place a foam roller just above the back of the knee joint, hands at hips with fingers facing out. 
  • To increase compression, cross one leg over the other. 
  • To decrease compression, keep other leg on the ground. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground, keeping the chest up and shoulders down and back. Slowly roll up the medial hamstring from just above the back of the knee joint to the start of the glutes.
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Repeat with left leg.

SMR Anterior Tibialis Foam Roll

The SMR Anterior Tibialis Foam Roll exercise helps to restore the shin muscles to normal resting lengths. This is an effective flexibility exercise to reduce the pain of shin splints.

  • Place the foam roller a few inches above the ankle joint and assume an elbow plank position. 
  • Elbows should be slightly below shoulders at the starting position. 
  • Slightly internally rotate the foot so that the muscle is on the roller, not the bone. 
  • Keeping the core engaged, slowly roll up the muscle from a few inches above the ankle to a few inches below the knee joint. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to starting position.
  • Repeat with left leg.

SMR Peroneals Foam Roll

The SMR Peroneals Foam Roll exercise helps to reduce tension in the lower leg and improve ankle joint mobility.

  • Place your elbow on the ground, with the elbow slightly below shoulder height. 
  • Place the foam roll under the right leg, positioned under the middle of the outer portion of the lower leg. 
  • Take the opposite leg and lay it beside the leg on the foam roll, or to increase compression, rest the left leg on top of the right. 
  • Slowly roll up the peroneal muscles to a few inches below the knee joint. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. 
  • Try to relax and breathe deeply.
  • Repeat with the left leg.

SMR Gastrocnemius Foam Roll

The SMR Gastrocnemius Foam Roll exercise focuses on improving flexibility in the upper part of the calf musculature.

First Pass

  • Sit with the legs extended and place a foam roll under the back of the right leg just below the meat of the calf muscle (gastrocnemius). 
  • Hands should be by the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it on the ground beside the foam roll or to increase compression, cross the left leg over the right leg as shown. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll from the starting position to just below the back of the knee joint. 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders.
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. (Try to relax and breathe deeply).
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down. 

Second Pass

  • Turn the foot in slightly to target the medial gastrocnemius.
  • Hands should be by the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it on the ground beside the foam roll or to increase compression, cross the left leg over the right leg as shown. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll from the starting position to just below the back of the knee joint. 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. (Try to relax and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.

Third Pass

  • Turn the foot slightly out to roll the lateral gastrocnemius.
  • Hands should be by the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it on the ground beside the foam roll or to increase compression, cross the left leg over the right leg as shown. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll from the starting position to just below the back of the knee joint. 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds. (Try to relax and breathe deeply). Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.

Repeat the entire series with the left leg.

SMR Soleus Foam Roll

The SMR Soleus Foam Roll exercise should be incorporated into every endurance athletes flexibility program.

First Pass

  • Sit with the legs extended and place a foam roller just above the ankle on the back side of the right leg. 
  • Hands should be slightly behind the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it beside the foam roll, or to increase compression, cross the left leg over top of the right leg. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed.
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll about halfway up the back of the leg to where the meaty part of the calf muscle starts (gastrocnemius). 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting  position and let the hips drop down.

Second Pass

  • Turn the right foot slightly to the outside to target the lateral portion of the soleus muscle.
  • Hands should be slightly behind the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it beside the foam roll, or to increase compression, cross the left leg over top of the right leg. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll about halfway up the back of the leg to where the meaty part of the calf muscle starts (gastrocnemius). 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply). 
  • Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.

Third Pass

  • Turn the right foot slightly to the inside to target the inner portion of the soleus muscle.
  • Hands should be slightly behind the hips with the fingers facing away from the body. 
  • Take the left leg and lay it beside the foam roll, or to increase compression, cross the left leg over top of the right leg. 
  • Keep the ankle relaxed. 
  • Lift the hips off the ground and slowly roll about halfway up the back of the leg to where the meaty part of the calf muscle starts (gastrocnemius). 
  • Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back to avoid injury in the wrists and shoulders. 
  • Hold any tender spots for 30-90 seconds (try to stay relaxed and breathe deeply). Slowly roll back down to the starting position and let the hips drop down.
  • Repeat entire series with the left leg.

SMR Plantar Fascia Foam Roll

The SMR Plantar Fascia Foam Roll exercise is a good way to relieve stress on the arch of the foot, leading to better ankle mobility.

First Pass

  • From a kneeling position, place the foam roller on the bottom of the foot just before the start of the toes.
  • Place pressure on the bottom of the foot and slowly roll towards the heel. 
  • If you find any tender spots, stop and hold pressure for 30-90 seconds.
  • Roll back to the base of the toes.  

Second Pass

  • Reposition the foam roller just before the start of the toes and move the knee slightly inward to roll the inner portion of the plantar fascia. 
  • Place pressure on the bottom of the foot (you can use the elbow on the knee for added compression) and slowly roll towards the heel.
  • If you find any tender spots, stop and hold pressure for 30-90 seconds. 
  • Roll back to the base of the toes.

Third Pass

  • Reposition the foam roller just before the start of the toes and move your knee slightly outward to roll the outer portion of the plantar fascia. 
  • Place pressure on the bottom of the foot (you can use an elbow on the knee for added compression) and slowly roll towards the heel. 
  • If you find any tender spots, stop and hold pressure for 30-90 seconds.

Progression: Place elbow on the knee for added compression.