General benefits of the foam roller include improving range of motion and muscle flexibility and — of course — melting away tension and tightness like a massage does. It’s a relatively cheap tool that you can use at home for free challenging workouts. Because it’s not a stable surface, working out with a foam roller means you have to use more muscles continuously to stabilize your body.
Here are 7 workout moves you can do with just a foam roller:
1. Arm Roll Outs
Why: This move tones your arms and lower back. It also improves posture.
How: While on your stomach, place the foam roller just above your elbows with your arms extended long. Roll up all the way and bring your forearms in to work the triceps. Repeat 8 times.
2. Tricep Dips
Why: Tones your triceps.
How: With knees bent, place the foam roller behind you with your fingers facing forward. If this bothers your wrists, you can also try using fists. Bend up and down to work your arms. Repeat 10 times.
3. Hamstring Curls
Why: Tones the hamstrings and glutes.
How: On your back, place the roller under your feet. Lift your hips up into a bridge and hold. Roll your feet in and out to work your hamstrings. Repeat 8-10 times.
4. Butterfly Lifts
Why: Works your glutes as well as your inner and outer thighs.
How: On your back, place the soles of your feet together and rest your ankles on the foam roller. Drive your hips up and down. Repeat 6-8 times.
Why: Challenges core stability while working lower abs and shoulders.
6. Shell Curls
Why: This is a full abs workout, plus you get some arm toning because you’re balancing in a pushup position.
7. Rolling Lunges
Why: Full leg workout, including quads, hamstrings, inner thighs and glutes. Plus, your muscles get more work because you are working to balance.