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Foam Roller Exercise for Thighs
Foam rollers are relatively cheap, typically ranging from $18 to $40. Performing a foam roller exercise for your thighs may provide relief from muscle soreness. Foam rollers may be a good option for you if you work out in other ways and would like a way to alleviate aches from strenuous exercises or to heal sustained injuries. These rollers can be used in many ways to target your thighs, including the quadriceps and outer thighs.
Use foam rollers to stretch your thigh facia, the connective tissue that can be easily pulled, injured or inflamed. Myofacial release exercises using foam rollers may provide relief for tight quadriceps. To perform, place the foam roller horizontally on a mat. Lie on top of the foam roller with your quads pressing into the roller and your elbows holding you up. Slowly roll your quads forward and backward over the roller, gently massaging tender areas. Continue to massage sore areas until the pain lessens.
Rolling Outer Thighs
Use foam roller exercises to release tension in your IT band and outer thigh. Lie on your side with the foam roller placed under your bottom leg. Slowly roll from the lower hip to the top of your knee joint. Roll over the muscle slowly and support part of your body weight with your arms as needed.
Foam roller exercise can improve your mobility and range of motion, and improve your balance and coordination, according to Melissa Enfield, a Toronto-based yoga and Pilates trainer. Enfield suggests using a foam roller to massage your thighs for 10 minutes before going to bed each night. If you find the massage painful, Enfield suggests wrapping the foam roller in a towel or finding a softer form of a foam roller. Enfield says you can use pool noodles, which are thinner and more flexible than traditional foam rollers, for better comfort.
Foam rollers provide benefits equal to expensive thigh massage for cyclists, runners and those who sit all day at their desks. The pain some people experience when using foam rollers can be alleviated by keeping the roller moving. Use the thigh roller for 30 seconds or less for each exercise when you start out -- gradually build up your massage to 60 or 90 seconds. Stop if the massage proves too painful.
- The Globe and Mail: Rock Away Those Kinks with an Absurdly Simple Foam Roller; Amy Verner
- American Council on Exercise: 5 Foam-Rolling Moves for the Lower Body
- Performance Physical Therapy: Foam Roller Exercises
- Cheatham SW, Kolber MJ, Cain M, Lee M. The Effects of Self-Myofascial Release Using a Foam Roll or Roller Massager on Joint Range of Motion, Muscle Recovery, and Performance: A Systematic Review. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2015;10(6):827-838.
- Wiewelhove T, Döweling A, Schneider C, et al. A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foam Rolling on Performance and Recovery. Front Physiol. 2019;10:376. doi:10.3389/fphys.2019.00376
- Cheatham SW, Stull KR. Roller Massage: A Commentary on Clinical Standards and Survey of Physical Therapy Professionals- Part 1. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2018;13(4):763-772.
Since 2005, Milo Dakota has ghostwritten articles and book manuscripts for doctors, lawyers, psychologists, nutritionists, diet experts, fitness instructors, acupuncturists, chiropractors and others in the medical and health profession. Her work for others has appeared in the "Journal of the American Medical Society" and earned accolades in "The New York Times." She holds a Master of Art in journalism from the University of Michigan.