Does your intense workout routine make you feel tired and sore all over? Vibrating foam roller exercises are what you need! Foam rolling can prep your body for a workout, improve your performance and allow speedy recovery after exercise. You can even do it no matter the type of physical activity.
The best part is you can use foam rollers to most trigger points of the body. So, whether you experience shoulder pain after benching or plantar fasciitis after your run, there’s a pain-relieving exercise for you. Ready to start rolling? Then grab your mat and foam roller! Here are some moves that can provide therapeutic benefits.
Vibrating Foam Roller Exercises for the Upper Body
Overuse of muscles during your workout routine can result in neck pain. In some cases, incorrect exercise form can lead to muscle fatigue, too. Worse, headache and migraine usually ensue. Follow these steps for much-needed relief. You can do these after a busy day at work, too:
- Lie on your back, then position the foam roller at the back of your neck. Place your arms to the side and raise your knees while keeping your feet flat on the surface.
- Next, inhale and slowly turn your head sideways to the right. Hold this position up to the point where you feel sore spots.
- Exhale before returning to the starting position and moving your head to the left.
- Repeat this exercise for about 30 seconds.
TIP: If you’re looking for a foam roller to add to your gym bag essentials, the TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller is an excellent choice. Aside from its compact 30cm length, this foam roller has four vibration settings, too.
Weightlifting, swimming and strength training are the usual culprits for tight muscles in the shoulder area. Putting your body weight against the foam roller can simulate deep-pressure massages and decrease muscle tension. Here’s a move you can do after your workout:
- Lie on your side, then position the foam roller under your right shoulder. Place your left arm to your sides. Bend your knees slightly but keep your legs and feet together.
- Next, massage your deltoid muscle by moving the roller up and down.
- Repeat this move for about 30 seconds before switching to your left side.
TIP: Some foam rollers have bumps protruding all over them. These finger-like protrusions can give intense massage to hard-to-reach tissues. If you often encounter deep-seated muscle soreness, textured foam rollers like the Emerge Vibrating Foam Roller is worth considering.
Upper back pain
Upper back tension happens not only after a workout but also after your desk job. Posture problems due to leaning and hunching over can cause backaches, too. If you prefer non-medicated solutions, then you can relieve tension using your vibrating foam roller:
- Lie on your back, then position the foam roller under your upper back. Make sure that the head and tailbone have ample support and are comfortable.
- Now, bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the surface. Your arms can be at the sides of your head or crossed on top of your chest.
- Next, lift your body a bit, creating a bridge-like form. Roll your back against the foam, starting from the middle of your back up to the shoulder area.
TIP: Medium-density foam rollers are not too soft, not too hard tools to suit everyone’s activity level. The CubeFit Pulse Vibrating Foam Roller is an excellent example. Choose this type if you plan to use it at the office or gym.
Lat muscle pain
Your latissimus dorsi, also lats or wings, are the muscles that connect your arms and spine. Thus, when these muscles are tight, shoulder and backaches usually follow. Range of motion becomes difficult as well. So, when doing exercises for the upper body, make sure to follow the proper form and avoid overworking them. And in case of pain, you can stretch and loosen sore muscles following these steps:
- Lie on your side, then position the roller under your right armpit. Your right leg should stay straight, while you can bend your left leg to keep yourself comfortable.
- Next, start rolling your right armpit in an up and down motion, massaging areas where you feel soreness.
- Repeat this movement for 30 seconds before switching to your left side.
Vibrating Foam Roller Exercises for the Lower Body
The glutes are among the largest muscles in your body. And they often take the brunt of your intense leg workouts or running routine. Without proper recovery techniques, gluteal pain can make sitting, stair climbing, bending and other essential activities difficult. You can avoid that by getting your foam roller with vibration and doing this exercise:
- Sit on your foam roller, then cross your right leg over your left knee.
- Next, lean your body to the left, pushing your weight down the roller using your left butt cheek.
- Position your right hand on your right hip, then place your left hand on the floor for balance.
- Now, start rolling your left butt side against the foam roller to massage it.
- Repeat this step a few times, then do the same thing on your right side.
If your job involves being on your feet for hours, then it’s likely you complain about foot pain often. Runners also tend to overstretch their feet muscles, causing inflammation or a condition called plantar fasciitis. A foam roller can give your feet some TLC. Here’s how:
- Start in a standing or kneeling position, then step your right foot onto the foam roller.
- Curve your foot into a C-like form. Now, begin foam rolling with your foot, pressing down for extra pressure.
- Repeat this motion for up to 60 seconds before switching to the other foot.
- Alternatively, you can do this exercise while sitting on a chair.
Cyclists and runners often complain about pain at the front of their thighs or quads. This dense muscle group can also become sore after long hours of sitting down or being sedentary. Foam rolling can then help relieve quad tightness, making your knee cap and hip more mobile in the process. Here’s a foam roller exercise you can do before or after your activity:
- Start in a planking position. Let your elbows and toes rest on the floor, then slip the foam roller underneath your quads.
- Now, begin rolling in an up and down motion. From your quads, slowly roll down to your upper knee, then move up towards your hip flexors.
- For optimum effect, hold your position whenever you pass tender spots. Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.
- Alternatively, you can do this move with your toes lifted off the floor while your arms give you support.
TIP: Athletes often go through intense post-exercise soreness. In this case, high-density, firm rollers like the Zyllion Vibrating Foam Roller can provide deeper pressure and better muscle relaxation.
Painful hamstrings or back thighs also happen due to cycling, running and extended sitting. So, this step is the reverse of the quad roll:
- Sit on your mat with your legs extended and the for under your hamstrings this time.
- Rest your hands on the floor behind your back, then lift your body a bit.
- Next, roll the back of your legs against the foam roller, moving from your knees to your glutes.
- For optimum effect, hold your position when you encounter tight spots. Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.
- Alternatively, you can put one leg on the roller at a time. Bend your other leg to help your body push the roller up and down.
TIP: If you prefer to do this exercise with both legs, you’ll want a foam roller that is at least 36cm. Long foam rollers are more versatile and can cover large body areas like your upper back, too. An example of this is the Vulken Vibrating Foam Roller.
Keen to own a foam roller at home or replace your regular foam roller with a vibrating one? Our buying guide and reviews can help you choose! We also have a list of the best massage guns you can buy in Australia.