Tech The Foam Roller Technique Thread

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
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#1
Today, I discovered a new and extremely painful way get really deep into my calf muscles with my foam roller, and it occured to me that we have no central thread for collating all the different cycling related foam roller positions and moves.

So here it is.

Post the various ways you use your foam roller for cycling related stuff, and let's get a knowledge bank going which people can dip into as they please.

Me first then;

Calves


A really good way to do your calves, and the back of your lower legs in general, is to kneel down on the floor, put the foam roller behind your thighs, across your calves, and just sit down on it.

Use your hands to micro-adjust the exact point it hits your calves at.

This is a good one for a number of reasons;

-Your whole upper body weight can be used to put mega pressure on the roller and really dig it in hard to your calves.
-You can just sit there gritting your teeth for 2 minutes and you are pretty much done. No actual rolling around, apart from adjusting the position slightly
-If you do it on one leg, you can get even harder into the muscle.

Etc.

Give it a try. I was surprised just how tight my calves were. Pretty much spent 2 minutes agony-gurning.
 
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TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#2
Lower Back

Another one I started doing recently, was on my lower back.

Sit on the floor with the roller behind you, then very carefully and slowly, lay down onto it. Start with the roller across your shoulder blades, then push back with you feet, so the roller rolls down towards your lower back. Depending how tight your lower back is, this might be really hard, and take your breath away. It did with me the first time. Hold the position at the most intense point you can handle, for as long as you can, using your body weight to engage the stretch.

When you are done, don't try to sit up direct from the most intense position. Instead, roll back down to your shoulder blades, then roll your body over sideways. This will prevent you tweaking anything.

This one really sorted my back (and knee!) out.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
2,864
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#3
I've been using a lacrosse ball, lean up against a wall and roll around. You can control the pressure based on how much weight you lean into it. It's been good for my back, hip region and even hamstrings. Apparently it is good for the iliopsoas if you lie on it on the floor but I haven't managed to make that work very effectively yet.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
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#4
Yeah, I also use a ball. I use a tennis ball to start the exercise, when an area is really tight and painful, and when it is looser, I switch to a baseball which is harder. If it is alright from the start, I just go straight with a baseball.

A ball can be combined with a roller too, to pinpoint areas on the back of the thigh. Put the ball on top of the foam roller, and the lay your thigh on it, finding the areas of tightness.

For the muscle that runs across your arse (piriformis), put the ball on the floor, sit down, put the foot of the leg of the side you want to affect up on the knee of the other leg, then lower yourself down onto the ball, directly on the piriformis muscle. This one pretty much kills but is really effective.
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,539
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Asakadai, Saitama
#6
Good idea about this thread. Just be a little careful doing that first stretch regarding the calves. That method can also put quite a lot of stress on the ankles. I have rather weak ankles (too many broken ankles from playing football when I was younger) so this hurts them. In sure most people will probably be fine though.
 

macrophotofly

Maximum Pace
Aug 27, 2012
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London, UK
www.macrophotofly.com
#7
This thread is a great idea. I have a foam roller but convinced I'm not using it right as I seem to get more of an upper body workout than a leg muscle massage. Would like to know how to use it properly (any links to vids showing the same exercises you use with it, would be awesome)

As an alternative I picked up one of these "The Stick" last time I was in the US. Allows me to roll the muscles without having to balance on a roller and I can control the pressure better. Looks like you can get them on amazon.jp
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
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#12
New one I tried tonight...

I had a tightness in my right leg / groin area, which through probing I narrowed down to the very top of the thigh muscles on the front of my leg, where they narrow together.

I had tried stretching this which worked ok but never sorted it.

So I invented my own simple solution

Get a baseball, and lay down on your front on it, pinpointing the problem area at the groin - thigh area.

Took a few passes to start loosening things off, but once it did I could get deep into the issue and loosen things off a lot.
 

TCC

Tokyo Cycling Club
Jun 30, 2013
2,362
1,291
133
#14
Just invented a new one to do the inside of your thigh muscle at the front, down near your knee.

Needs a baseball and a bed.

Lay face down on your bed, with your legs hanging over the edge at the bottom. Lay so your knee and lower leg is off the edge and hanging in mid air, with the edge of the bed sitting against the muscle at the point you want to massage.

Put a baseball between you thigh muscle and the bed and leg gravity do its work.

Warning; this one is agony
 

paberu

Speeding Up
Dec 26, 2014
58
2
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#16
What are people using? Has anyone tried the GRID one - and is it worth being 4x the price of a basic one?
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,515
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Noda
japanichiban.com
#17
Think I'll get one of these rollers asap.

About 6 years ago I had a slip on a steel drainage grate in the rain and landed heavily on my left hip. I could tell it caused my whole skeleton to go a bit wonky but just carried on as usual. The hip had been a bit wonky ever since. The last few months it had been getting worse and painful. Felt like it was out of alignment but put it down to still getting over my knee operation and getting old. etc. Can never be sure with injuries unless you break a bone or snap a ligament...

I had tried a bit of self chiropractic with minimal or temporary relief.

Then, with the help of a friend I stretched and yanked and my friend was pulling on my hip in the opposite direction when we heard a mighty triple crunch.
Instant pain relief and since then I feel ten years younger. Was like the sacroiliac joint had fused together in the wrong position and moved maybe 5mm or more with the crunch... was like concrete cracking.

My back has regained a lot of flexibility....can walk normally again...

..... just needed a re-alignment.

I think that even using the baseball under my lower back may help as well...
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,515
213
83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#19
just happened to stroll by some in the gym section of the home center near work. There were two brands so I just picked the slightly more expensive one...seemed a bit stiffer... will check the brand in the morning but likely to be a no-namer... can't even remember how much I paid...
 

leicaman

Maximum Pace
Sep 20, 2012
2,539
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Asakadai, Saitama
#20
Which roller did you get? I have never seen them in any shops here, just online.
Not sure if they still do, but nitori sold them a couple of years ago. I got a full length one there for about 900 yen. It's still going strong. It's basically the same as the stretch pole they sell at my gym for 9000 yen but without the cover. Oshmans in Harajaku sell foam rollers too but they aren't very cheap. I seem to remember seeing the nobbly ones there.