A quick fix for muscle tightness? Missing message? There’s a solution

By Nicole Ganglani | Art by Dana Calvo | Photo by Andrew “Donovan” Valdivia/Unsplash

If you have no choice but to sit all day, a foam roller could be your next best friend. Used for self-massage and to ease muscle tightness, a foam roller restores tissue elasticity, fluidity and increases blood and oxygen flow—which are significantly affected when sitting down for long hours. A foam roller also improves your postural control if used correctly. Here’s how to properly utilize a foam roller to stretch your quads, hamstrings, upper back and shoulders.

 

For your quads

 

  1. Start from a forearm plank position and make sure the roller is under your quads
  2. Slowly roll the roller above your knees until it reaches your hip flexors. Make sure to do this in the opposite direction while engaging your upper body and core
  3. If you notice a sore spot, you can leave the roller there for a few more seconds
  4. Do this consistently
For your hamstrings

 

 

  1. Sit on the floor, stretch your legs and put your foam roller under your hamstrings
  2. Start rolling the foam by lifting your body up and down between the back of your knees and glutes
  3. If you notice a sore spot, you can leave the roller there for a few more seconds
For your upper back

 

 

  1. Put the foam underneath your upper back while lying down with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Engage your core and lift yourself up in a bridge position 
  3. Then roll up and down between your lower neck and mid-back
  4. If you notice a sore spot, you can leave the roller there for a few more seconds
For your shoulders

 

  1. Lie on your side with the foam roller underneath your right shoulder. Your legs can relax on the ground
  2. Roll slowly upwards and the downwards focusing on your deltoid muscle
  3. If you notice a sore spot, you can leave the roller there for a few more seconds
  4. Switch sides once you’re done with one side