9 Basic Foam Rolling Moves

Note: Originally published on 8/31/2017 on my old website.

Not sure how to use the foam roller? Here are 9 ways to add it to your warm up, cool down, or mobility routine.

Spend about 30 seconds on each area, each side so if you do all 9 moves, it should take you about 10 minutes.

Curious about what foam rolling is and what it does? Check out this article.


  • Keep foot relaxed
  • Rock leg side to side while slowly working from the ankle to the knee
  • (optional) add pressure by stacking other leg on top

Hamstrings (back of thighs)

  • Keep leg relaxed
  • Rock leg side to side while moving from knee to bottom
  • (optional) add pressure by stacking other leg

Quads (front of thighs)

  • Keep leg relaxed and limit pressure by using your other knee and elbows for support
  • Starting from knee, roll up and down 3 inches, then rock side to side 3 times, then bend your knee 1-3 times. Perform the rolling, rocking, bending in several spots while working up to your hips

IT band (side of thighs)

  • Starting at your hips, work down to knee by rolling down 3 inches, up 1 inch; down 3 inches, up 1 inch, etc.
  • Keep knee slightly bent
  • Keep weight slightly forward onto side and front of thigh

Adductors (inner thighs)

  • Roller parallel to your body
  • Start at inner knee, work in to groin by rolling in 3 inches, out 1 inch; in 3 inches, out 1 inch, etc.

Glutes (bottom)

  • Prop up right ankle on left knee, lean into right glutes

Upper back

  • Roll with hands behind head
  • Hug yourself while rolling to get between shoulder blades (skip this if you have neck pain)

Lats (sides of torso)

  • Lay at a slight angle with roller under armpit
  • Roll up and down
  • Rock side to side


  • Lying lengthwise on roller, keeping low back neutral
  • Reach arms up and over, drag elbows down to sides
  • Repeat slowly 10 times

What was the tightest area for you?