How To Use a Foam Roller

Six pre-run and post-run routines to boost flexibility and recovery

Foam rollers do more than just rehabbing injured muscles. They can be an important part of a runner’s warmup and cooldown routine. Foam rolling improves circulation which prepares the body for a workout and helps with recovery afterwards. Try each of the following routines moving slowly and pausing and holding in tender spots.

Warm up

Rolling before a workout increases blood flow and releases muscle tightness.


Place the roller under one calf and rest the other foot on the floor. Roll from below the knee to the ankle. Roll your leg in and then out.

IT band

Lie on your side with the roller near your hip. Rest the foot of your other leg on the floor. Move the roller along your outer thigh.

Piriformis (muscle in your glutes)

Sit on the roller and place one foot on the opposite knee. Lean into one side of your glutes and roll back and forward.

Cool Down

Foam rolling after a workout flushes out toxins to help recovery


Place the roller under your thighs. Roll from your knees to glutes. Increase the pressure by doing one leg at a time.


Lie on your stomach with one leg extended to the side with your knee bent. Place the roller in the groin area of extended leg and roll the inner thigh.


Lie on your stomach with the roller under the front of your thigh and roll up and down from your hip to the top of your knee.