May 11th is National Foam Rolling Day which is one of our favorite holidays here at PT Plus. Many people know the mobility gains you can make by using a foam roller daily, but fewer individuals are aware of the strengthening exercises that can be performed with the help of a roller. Here are 5 exercises that our therapist, Mike, likes to give to his patients in order to strengthen different areas of the body:
1. Hip Internal Rotation - The hip rotators are located deep within the hip joint and are often a neglected muscle group. When strong, they can aid the larger muscle groups of the hip in walking and running activities.
2. Serratus Punches - This exercise is very helpful for individuals with shoulder injuries. Strengthening the serratus anterior will improve shoulder function while helping to maintain the appropriate amount of space in the shoulder joint to prevent impingement.
3. Hamstring Bridges - This exercise is challenging but very beneficial when trying to improve your hamstring strength. Prior to doing this exercise it is a good idea to perform a few warm up activities for your legs in order to decrease the likelihood of cramping.
4. Core Stability Fallouts - During this exercise it is imported to keep your low back flat on the foam roll. This exercise is meant to target the deep core muscles which stabilize the spine and decrease low back pain.
5. Core Stability Marches - This is another great exercise for the deep core muscles and it is still very important to keep the low back flat on the roll during the activity. This exercise can be made easier by stabilizing yourself with one arm on the floor.
These are just some of the many strengthening exercises that can be performed 20-30x a day using a foam roller. It is a very inexpensive and useful tool that can be used to decrease pain and improve function. Talk to your PT Plus physical therapist about ordering one today.