THE GOAL: Exercises you can do at home with a foam roller to stretch out your tender spots
THE INFO: If you only had time for a workout at the gym, chances are you didn't do a very good of stretching — and your muscles are making you pay for it now. But if there's one piece of equipment that can help you (especially at home), it's the foam roller. The roller can be used to target muscles in your body and help stretch out body parts that don't often get any love. Designed to help with flexibility and sore or inflamed muscles, all the exercises below hit specific tight spots and help relieve pain.
To get into position, put the roller under your hip and keep one leg on the floor as a support. Start at your hip and work the roller down to the knee by moving alongside it. If you find a tender spot, push down and hold or roll quickly back and forth over the tender spot. This will help loosen up the IT band.
TFL Or Hip Flexor
This one includes the same instructions as the last one, but this time spread your legs outwards. Start at your hip and work down to the knee. If you find a tender spot, push down and hold or roll quickly back and forth over the tender spot. Similarly to the last exercise, this will help stretch out your hip flexors.
Get in plank position and put the roller under your hip. Keep your hands on the floor and core tight. Start at your hip and work down to the knee in order to stretch your quadriceps from the front.
Hamstring And Glutes
Start by sitting on the foam roller, then roll your hips towards the ground. To increase pressure, keep your bum in the air.
Sit on the ground and start with the foam roller behind the knee and pull your knees up. As the image shows, lift the hips up and roll back and forth, keeping the legs straight.
You might not think about stretching your ankles, but it's a good idea. For people who get really tight on the sides of the ankle, start at the ankle bone and roll up to mid-calf.
Latissimus (Back Muscles)
Start at the armpit and roll down your side to the rib cage. This move will help you loosen up your back muscles.
Low Back And Hip
Start with your hips on the roller and shoulders on the floor. Rock back and forth. For a better workout, lift one leg in the air and rock back and forth or turn the roller vertically and go side to side.
This move can be a continuation of the last move, or you can start with your hips on the ground and the roller in the middle of your back. Lift the hips up and roll to the neck.
For the glutes, start by sitting on the foam roller and bend both knees and roll your hips forward. For a targeted workout, go onto one glute.
Have something that needs fine tuning? Let us know in the comments below.
The new year is the time to take on new challenges, so for the month of January and beyond, The Huffington Post Canada's Living team brings you Fine Tuning: daily workouts, with tips on how to tone up, get healthy and stay fit for the whole year. Each workout will focus on one fitness goal or body part, with our favourite trainers showing you simple ways to get stronger and healthier in less than 45 minutes.
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