Using A Foam Roller Step-by-Step Guide


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Foam Rolling Your Back: DON’T Do This! Do THIS Instead

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How to Use A Foam Roller: Step-by-Step Guide By Steve Kamb • Last Updated: October 8, 2018 • 13 comments In the last few years, the foam roller has become a staple in commercial gyms. 10% of every piece of equipment in a modern fitness facility is now some type of foam roller. How to Use a Foam Roller. Locate sore/tight area of muscle; Control your body as you slowly lower the targeted area such that it’s centered above the roller; Lower body onto the foam until you reach a point of discomfort (not pain) and hold it there for 20-30 seconds; Roll.

Place your foam roller on the floor and sit in front of it with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Carefully lie back and lift your hips slightly off the floor. Slowly roll your body over the roll, pushing your torso away from your feet, using your legs to guide you. You may feel your back crack as you roll back towards your feet. How to do it: Lie on left side with the foam roller near left hip.

Cross right leg over left and rest right foot on the floor with the knee bent. Using your forearm, roll along your outer thigh. Sit on the floor and place the foam roller under your RIGHT lower leg, between the base of your calves and your Achilles. Cross your LEFT leg over your right.

Press into your hands and lift your hips off the ground to apply pressure onto the roller. Slowly walk your hands towards the foam roller to roll it up your leg. Best Foam Roller For Seniors.

For seniors, my recommendation is to get a longer foam roller as they are easier to keep in place while changing positions. They take up a bit more space but the comfort of use is worth it. If you pick a too short one, they tend to roll to the side and away from under you as you move. Foam rolling basics 1. Sit on the ˜ oor and place a foam roller underneath your legs, just above your knees. 2. Relax your feet and legs.

3. Use your hands to lift yourself up and roll back and forth from above the knees and to the beginning of your glutes. 4. Keep your torso straight and. Place the foam roller under the straight leg just above the knee joint.

In a forearm plank position, lift the body up and start to move the roller closer towards the hip. Do that 4-5 times, hold at your point of intensity, and then start to bend the knee on the same side as the foam roller into a hamstring curl position a few times. A full-color, step-by-step guide to end pain, regain range of motion, and prevent injury using the foam roller With this helpful full-color guide, you can learn how to use your foam roller to remediate muscle strain caused by everything from sitting.

Start with a 36” soft foam roller. As you roll, always engage your core, keep breathing, and try to relax. Two to three minutes on each muscle group is usually all you need, say Shane.

List of related literature:

With Full Foam Roller Place your hands on a full foam roller.

“The Athlete's Shoulder E-Book” by James R. Andrews, Kevin E. Wilk, Michael M. Reinold
from The Athlete’s Shoulder E-Book
by James R. Andrews, Kevin E. Wilk, Michael M. Reinold
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008

Run the part over the smaller roller, moving a steady speed to take off an even amount.

“How to Build Glued-lapstrake Wooden Boats” by John Brooks, Ruth Ann Hill
from How to Build Glued-lapstrake Wooden Boats
by John Brooks, Ruth Ann Hill
WoodenBoat Publications, 2004


“Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Shattering Plateaus, Hitting PRs, and Getting Shredded” by Michael Matthews
from Beyond Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Advanced Guide to Shattering Plateaus, Hitting PRs, and Getting Shredded
by Michael Matthews
Oculus Publishers, 2014

To apply foam using the roll-in method, follow the steps in SKILL DRILL 12-11.

“Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations” by Rob Schnepp
from Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations
by Rob Schnepp
Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2017

To use a foam roller, lie or sit with the belly of the muscle needing recovery on the roller and then roll back and forth on it so that the entire length of the muscle is manipulated by the pressure.

“Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life” by Joe Friel
from Fast After 50: How to Race Strong for the Rest of Your Life
by Joe Friel
VeloPress, 2015

Keeping your leg relaxed, create pressure into the roller by driving your hip toward the ground.

“Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance” by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
from Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance
by Kelly Starrett, Glen Cordoza
Victory Belt Publishing, 2015

By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller, you can perform a self­massage.

“Shut Up and Train!: A Complete Fitness Guide for Men and Women” by Deanne Panday
from Shut Up and Train!: A Complete Fitness Guide for Men and Women
by Deanne Panday
Random House Publishers India Pvt. Limited, 2013

However, a foam roller can make a great, inexpensive tool for core stability work and balance challenges, especially in the supine and prone positions.

“Methods of Group Exercise Instruction” by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
from Methods of Group Exercise Instruction
by Mary M. Yoke, Carol Armbruster
Human Kinetics, 2019

I don’t have a foam roller.

“Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink” by Nita Sweeney
from Depression Hates a Moving Target: How Running With My Dog Brought Me Back From the Brink
by Nita Sweeney
Mango Media, 2019

Or, if you’re like me and don’t have oodles of time to foam roll before and after a workout, you can spend ten to twenty minutes once or twice a week making sweet love to a foam roller.

“Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life” by Ben Greenfield
from Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life
by Ben Greenfield
Victory Belt Publishing, 2017

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Best foam rolling video. I just done it my second time. Lot’s of pain. I need find the guy he advised me by the firm foamroller and do him your routine on it ��

  • I had a herniated disc a few months ago and followed your advice on one of your videos, it helped a lot. Thank you for these very helpful and informative videos.

  • I can’t stay up or sit for very long I have to lay down to ease the pain for every hour or so. when I do this I feel like there is something very loose in my mid back and when I roll it makes a noise. I have very little feeling in my hands and I numbness tingling in the hands. I can turn my head about 70 degrees right but only 45 degrees left…

  • Hey guys! I bought a foam roller but it’s a little chunkier and shorter than the one you guys are using. Did I get the wrong kind? Because it kinda hurts when I use it.

  • Tired to look for the foam roller in this video at the link its sold out…..currently having a terrible back spasm and on day 2 wonder if there is some other site or roller you recommend….I have multiple sclerosis and have these spasms often and wanna give this a try I’m tired of being in pain ��

  • yes….avoid ” the package” omg rofl you guys are great! and never thought about the “wrinkles and gray hair on the inside” thank you….good to know…..NOT but yes…you guy have relieved a lot of pain in this 61 year old old gymnast and dancer body..that fell off of too many horses…and crashed big on skies when hit by a psychotic skier…so thank you

  • Baldness is an indication of not being properly hydrated, not enough sun to the scalp, not having a plant base or pescatarian diet. For hydration filter out the water and add limes….add Celtic salt to your food for it has vital minerals…is how you fix baldness and aches on the body in addition to the rolling therapy from above…it has been working for me and I’ve added fasting to get rid of type 2.

  • What if you have both RA and Ankylosing Spondylidis? Because I hear a lot of ways to use a roller. And what you guys say… It’s for people that don’t have these types of autoimmunes…

  • Please I need your help. I can’t do this stretch on my right hip. I’ve had bursitis since I was 16 (I’m 31) but I’ve never had an orthopedist look into whether I have other issues involved. This is what I had been told for awhile though, simply, bursitis. When I try to do the same exact stretch as you, I can’t even bear weight from mid thigh to hip. I can roll on my gluteus and that feels fine
    It’s my outter hip and thigh, it’s so painful I can bear any weight what so ever on the roller in the exact way I’m being told. Could you weigh in on what is possibly wrong and how to do another less painful stretch?

  • I love this channel but I wish Brad would speak more. He is very thorough and likes to go into detail explaining why to do x,y,z and why not. It gives me a much better understanding of my own anatomy!

  • Wow, I’ve been haphazardly foam rolling at most like once a month for 2 years now and I guess I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time. I’ve always had a little bit of soreness while doing it, but this just destroyed me in the best way possible, of course. I definitely got a lot to learn ��

  • This is the video that finally got my subscribe! I love the banter between you two and the ending to this video had me laughing out loud

  • My pain is in the lower back, the lumbar, and I’m a avid golfer. I roll my lower back and it works! I can now swing a golf club with no pain!

  • So my chiropractor has a rolling machine in his office which roles directly in the spot you are saying not to do? He says I lay on it for 7 minutes. Online you see so much conflicting info. I’m at my Wit’s End tried everything still excruciating hip and back pain with all these exercises people say to do and not to do what is a true answer for God’s sake?

  • Foam roller are good for any body part except for the lower back. The upper back has the rib cage to no compress the spine in too much but the lumbar vertibrate (lower back) does not it is really harmful for the lower back to do so. There is a video from Athleanx where Jeff explains this in detail. Please don’t trust these unqualified so called “yoga teachers”. Do your own research guys.

  • Oh my god. I’ve been dealing with such intense back pain since pregnancy and postpartum. My job required hiking in the wilderness with 60+ lbs everyday, as well as sleeping on the ground for as long as a week consecutively. Financially, I didn’t have the option to quit when I became pregnant, so I was still doing this at six months pregnant. Now my baby is 10 months, and nothing has helped relieve the back pain. I’ve been to chiropractors, massage therapist and experts in holistic medicine, but with no relief. Thanks to this video, I have finally found enough pain relief to begin exercising again. Thank you for sharing!! Also, you are beautiful, and I appreciate your calm energy as well as your explanations of both cause and results. It has been so helpful.

  • Help last year I had lUMBAGO for the first time in my life. I’m 43 years old. After that I have pain on that side every time I sit down. I feel better when I stand or lay on my back. Moving makes it better. But I can’t sit. The longer Tim I sit the longer the pain lingers. What can I do?

  • Ngl I’ve had the worst back pain lately.. so I thought using a foam roller would be a good place to start. After searching about it I started to read so much about the dangers of foam rolling the lower back which made me a bit reluctant to trying it. Honestly after doing this routine once I felt so much relief. I will be continuing to follow this! Definitely recommend ����☺️

  • Hi, this is my first time doing foam roll and I love it. It does hurts a little but that’s because its my first time. I will continue doing this on a daily basis. Thank you for doing this video.

  • Well.. If you did do that on the lower back and somthing recall gave way NOW.. I cannot lift my butt up at all…

    What can I do.. In severe pain….

  • I just bought a roller from Facebook Marketplace and didn’t know how to use it. Your video and explanation was excellent, looking forward to using it now.

  • I just purchased one of these after watching one of your videos on posture, I have slight scoliosis and horrible posture. I do it exactly as you are, but it hurts, not in the spine, but the skin surface and muscle, maybe a little fat too, lol. Is this something that will gradually get better?

  • If your spine shifts its called Spondylo lis thesis (spaces added to help pronunciation). There are lots of consonants in there.

    If you have a pars defect its called spondylo lysis.

  • You guys are such a wonderful double-akt. Apart from givng much needed advice, practical demos and explaining everything so well, your light hearted and generous delivery cheers me up every time. I really appreciate what you do and have learnt and benefitted a lot. Thanks.

  • Amazing video Ashton, thanks for simple and effective tuition. I’ve been suffering with lower back for weeks, finally took my new roller out of the bag and instantly feel so much better..! Thank you so so much ��, big love from the UK ���� xx

  • The goal is not to live forever, but at least enjoy life to its max with exercise being the ultimate youth extender well into your 50s and 60s

  • I’m almost 40 and was looking for a video to help with slight back pain. This this was perfect. Going to subscribe and check out your other videos.

  • ⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐ Hit the �� SUBSCRIBE �� button above first (if you haven’t already), and make sure you mention you’ve subscribed because I like to respond to my subscribers if I can!

  • Thank you, guys! I haven’t tuned in in awhile, but good job on the shirts! Much more practical! I need to do my back exercises, so thank you for these tips! I have spondy grade 2!

  • I recently had surgery in my hips and had a lot of scar tissue and this really helped release some of the tissue damage.. Please do a video to help release tension in lower body and hip recovery for after surgery? Thanks!

  • Nice.
    One small thing. People with bad back, should NEVER get up straight the way she gets up after the bridge pose!! Always turn to your side and get up. Otherwise you may end up hurting your back pretty bad.

  • I have just found you Gentlemen.I have had all sorts of lower back problems for years.Your approach has already taught me much more than the 6 physiotherapists i have been to. Thankyou for such a no -nonsense approach.And you’re funny and engaging too. RESPECT

  • I’m so clueless on foam rolling but have been dealing with intense leg aching lately so I caved and bought a foam roller. This video was SOOO helpful! Thank you!

  • Thank You!Thank You!ThankYou! I’ve never foam rolled before, this video was my introduction to it and I LOVE it! I even got a rib to pop back into place.

  • Wow…My first time with foam roller…and yes u loved it…feeling so relaxed…just one ☝️ request…can u suggest how to use this for neck. I have neck and left arm pains a lot…

  • This is my absolute favorite roller workout! I have been using this video for over a year now. It is incredibly helpful. I am tennis player and do a lot of hiking and backpacking. The glutes workout is probably the most benefit for me. Thanks for the video!

  • Excellent vid �� Exercise has so many benefits. We provide active recovery tools to help people like you continue to perform at a high level��Check us out!

  • You really need to support your neck in neutral position while rolling your back! Women need to be careful rolling on the side not to increase the risk to the rib cage! You two should watch my videos to learn all the correct exercises for the entire body!I have been teaching myofascial release for over 25 years.

  • Thanks allot hurt my back at work this helps! The foam rollers are awesome! First bought it when an EMT friend of mine told me my leg was numb because of a tight spot on the outside of my leg. Bought one worked that area and sure enough it worked

  • Thank you so much!!!!�� l got a roller because of sciatica and as lm doing a step challenge and my body aches. So this has helped a lot l feel so much better after my workout ����‍♀️ ����

  • Thanks this was my first time during a full body foam roll recovery…i love it. Also would you please do some for the knees? Thanks again!!

  • Imagine my delight, when suddenly, while searching for foam roller stretches for beginners, I discovered my spirit animals, Bob and Brad. Not only was the video super helpful with the multiple angles and actual spine (how cool) but I just like the vibe. Down to earth, funny, considerate of my time and super helpful. Also you have helped spread the important message of NOT rolling your package. Lol Thanks guys! <3

  • Question, what about the “chirp wheel” or “yoga wheel” �� I’ve seen people on here using it on their lower backs. Whats your opinion on this?

  • You guys are awesome! I love watching your videos. They are so helpful, informative, and entertaining! THANKS for all you do!!!:)

  • This was the first time I’ve foam rolled, I could hardly walk after a few workouts and I feel so much better!! Definitely incorporating this into my daily life!

  • Unbelievable! I have been in terrible pain for a couple of days. I have a high pain tolerance and it has been up to an eight. Your class brought me down to a one or two. In a matter of 15 minutes. That’s incredible. I think people would have to try this to believe it LOL!

  • Love your videos. I was told 3 years ago to get a foam roller. I have 2. Used them more in 2018.

    I’d love to know how to support my weight doing the pifrormus muscle. I hurt my shoulder w/repetitive work and now I’ve got chronic tendonitis in right shoulder. So, when doing this on my right shoulder hurts BAD

    I had a THR in my right hip in 2013 due to a dislicated hip in 1988 at age 13. Och. I had 2 screws in my hip for 1 year. Removed at age 14. By 15, I had arthritis…by age 38, my hip looked like an 88 yr olds hip.

    My right hip muscles are very tight indeed. Love to do this without hurting shoulder.

  • 1. 0:21 Hip
    2. 1:42 Front thigh
    3. 2:35 I.T. band
    4. 3:28 Hamstring muscle group
    5. IGNORE 4:01 & 4:13/glutenous, because:

  • Can I do all this? Have disc herniation in the lower back. My PT suggested me. But I have a doubt if I can do foam rolling. Please suggest me

  • Hey Doctor thanks for the video. When I roll my outer quad on one of the legs there is like a “bump”. Not a small knot, it seems like there is huge tension there, accumulated from a long time. Probably it’s related to the condromalacia on the knee, on the same leg. I have no pain right now, but this definitively isn’t helping. I’m foam rolling every other day, and also putting a gel heat pad on the spot to help relax the muscle… any other idea? Cheers!

  • After I golf, my right hamstring & adductor is hurting like a spasm perhaps the push-off force on my downswing. A day later i can foam roll the adductor. I want to do the hamstring per 2:20 but with my weight I don’t have the mobility. Trying to figure out how else I can slide my bum on the carpet to do this.

  • Cyclist, hiker, runner. Rolled in 3 different sessions this past week. First time doing full bodied rolling, and am seeing and feeling the difference in less recovery pain. Thanks for sharing vid. Will use this often!

  • hi doc! any exercises for an mcl and patellar dislocation injury? i can walk straight and run a little right now just yo gauge it.:) thanks!

  • I just started using a foam roller. I was just rolling up and down it like a fool. I started having muscule spasms so I did a Google search on the best ways to use a foam roller and found your video. It helped tremendously! Thank you so much!!!

  • This is the best foam rolling video on YouTube, I love that you instruct us in real time. Holding each one for 30 seconds is so much harder when I’m just in my own mind, your encouragement makes all the difference. I come back at least once a week.

  • Thank you so much for this. Really nice guide to using my roller properly.. my shoulder blades are a nightmare for knots and tension!

    I have a diastasis recti though on the right of my abdomen after diep flap reconstruction 4 years ago.. (orig plastic surgeon ignored my complaints about my ‘bulge’, said it was just scar tissue… then tried to liposuction it in Jan this year��
    I saw a new plastic surgeon for a second opinion a he immediately sent me for ultrasound, which showed up the 5cm diastasis recti!
    Currently on a wait list for sirgery to correct it.
    Allowed to exercise bit need to be careful with anything that makes my abs strain… is there a safe way to use the roller to sort out my thoracic jam around T17/18, and my shoulder knots in my rhomboids and supra/infraspinatus (from too many excel spreadsheets!!)

    Or should I maybe just stick with sports massages for now?

  • Just foam rolled for the first time and wow I feel a TON better! I’ve just started my fitness journey so the only problem I had was not having flexible enough arms when I needed to hold myself up. My foam roller might be a bit bigger which is what I’m going to blame for now. lolol

  • Hi doc jo..I need your advice to my problem. recently I made mri to my shoulder and they found supraspinatus tendonitis and what can I do to overcome this problem.

  • Thank you!!! I used to foam roll a long time ago but got away from it. This morning I was so sore from yesterday’s workout that I pulled out the roller but needed some motivation and guidance to really hold my 30 seconds. This video will become a part of the routine. Thanks again

  • This was my first time foam rolling. Really appreciated the tutorial. Made it easy to follow. I was always hesitant to foam roll because of the pain, it was sore but the relief I’ve gotten after the fact is amazing. Will definitely be foam rolling again and again. Thank you.

  • I hurt my lower back due to exercise recently and this helped immensely. I am definitely sticking to this routine. Thanks a lot ��

  • I just watch your video ��������. I’m excited to try these exercises. My lower back is killing me. Can anybody recommend a roller on Amazon.

  • Been struggling with my lower back for 6 years, thank you for this! I will practice constantly on the week so I can improve! How many minutes can I work on each movement? What do you suggest? 5 minutes per area? (left and right)?

  • i loved foam rolling video and started to do body stretch link is not available. pls can u send it again or post a video for it

  • Hi there great vid,I’ve been suffering with low back pain for years and got given one them rollers many years back but I’ve never done anything with it till now and found your video would you recommend doing this once or twice daily for 15mins

  • Thank you so much! This got every part of my bum which has been tense from sitting all day while working from home. I don’t feel my back for the first time is days!

  • I have used these routines for a few months now and I can say its helped me with my foam rolling. I also added some (other) routines but I can honestly say this has made a big difference. YouTube algorithm has worked a treat to bring your video to me during lockdown in the UK. Thank you!

  • Last night I could barely move because I was in so much pain, but these exercises as sore as they were helped relieve pain instantly! Subscribed

  • Thanks! Yesterday I couldn’t even lift my body for the second pose, stand straight or even walk straight.. Today the poses are easier and I can walk straight!! Thanks a lot!!

  • OMG, I have been suffering from upper and lower back pain and sciatica pain on my right from sitting in front of my computer 12 hours a day. This video tutorial has been so helpful and after doing all these exercises I have felt so much better. Words cannot express my gratitude for this well thought out and instructional video tutorial on foam rolling. God bless you!

  • This is amazing! I’ve just got back from a long run with very sore and heavy legs and this session has helped so much.
    After every run ill be watching this video. Thank you!

  • Just used my foam roll and I haven’t been stretching much lately after running and gym. Watching this video was the best, my muscles feels a lot more loose and comfortable thanks to this video!

  • I did thew best i could for a first time, which was pretty clumsy. However, I am now feeling what i can only describe as ENERGY. I feel really good. Also, love the way she talks and demonstrates this.

  • Hey At the 5:41 mark when using roller on tail bone and bending knees in to each other that exact stretch on lower back is EXACTLY my issue of pain is there an exact name for area/more videos focusing on that area I’m in desperate need of help there it’s binding my job and my runs

  • Did you like this class? Be sure to SUBSCRIBE and leave us a comment below. ��
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  • I need to find exercises I can do that don’t stress my bad rotator cuffs. The few I could do feel great, especially the lower lumbar stretch but the other forms had me close to dislocating my bad shoulders. ����

  • I’ve had kyphosis my whole life and it kills me, I’ve been foam rolling twice a day everyday for the last 9 months and my back hasn’t changed at all idk what to do

  • Been struggling for a while with lower back pain after cycling after doing this for the last few weeks three or four times a week I feel like a new man!

  • horrible pain today and this is just what I needed. Finally putting that foam roller to good use! Great clarity in this instructional, thank you.

  • First time foam rolling, thank you for your good and honest guiding! When you said it might hurt, it definitely did, but now I feel way more relieved and relaxed! Thank you so much!!

  • Thanks for Sharing. Excellent video & instructor. Generally, I hate stretching as I feel it’s boring. But done as said couple of times along with the instructor, and time went by very fast. You are one great teacher!

  • HI Doctor JO I am a Chinese Doctor, I also your funs too LOL. I want to introduce my patient to  buy a Foam Roller. How can I buy it?

  • The Latic Acid buildup is a myth. Lactic acid leaves your muscles within 15 min of a work out and is not a toxin, but an important metabolic product the body uses, and doesn’t just flush.

    Love the moves though, my hips thank you!

  • What I do on my foam roller is the same but then I also tuck my chin in and then roll my head forwards and my cervical bones crack, crack, crack and it is awesome! It feels great after a long day!

  • Hi Michelle. Thanks for the video… just wondering, as you mentioned back pain, are these exercises safe for a herniated disc patient? They look very tempting but also a little dangerous. Please let us know, in particular, lower region.

  • Love this video, I can’t get to the chiropractor in corona lockdown, I’m doing this every day. You’ve saved my tight back and legs! Thank you!

  • Just 1 min into the exercise and my back is feeeeeeling so good! All the cracks made me feel better, don’t know whether it’s placebo, but I’m happy!

  • what a great video! love your channel XXX just subbed ;)) would be awesome if we could keep in touch and support each other xx sending love

  • Can you also make a video where you explain how to let the air out of the gym ball and show it on the ball and make it completely flat?