6 Moves You Can Do With A Foam Roller (Besides Stretching!)


You see it sitting in the corner at the gym, your friends swears by it, but how do you actually use it? Besides rolling over it to work out kinks and sooth sore muscles, you can actually use the foam roller as a great tool to build muscle.

To find out how, we turned to Anna Kaiser, founder and instructor at AKT in Motion (she's also the trainer behind the enviable bodies of Sofia Vergara, Kelly Ripa, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Shakira). Kaiser's such a pro with the foam roller, she teaches private and semi-private classes dedicated to it called Roll Play.

But, in case you can't make it to her New York studio, we've got you covered with six moves you can do anywhere, as long as you've got your trusty foam roller (Amazon's got a billion you can pick up just in time to keep your New Year's resolutions).

Try: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller, $39.95, Amazon

Ab Curl With Leg Lift

Start lying on your back, holding the foam roller horizontally between your hands overhead (but not touching the floor). Lift your left leg to tap the foam roller as your curl your shoulders off the floor and keep your arms next to your ears. Return to start. Repeat 10 times on the left, then repeat on your right.

Tower Twist

Start lying on your right side, leaning on your right forearm with your knees bent and your left hand pressing down into the top of the vertical foam roller. Extend your legs straight in a scissor while trying to tap your left leg to the foam roller. Repeat 10 times on your right side then switch sides.

Try: AmazonBasics High-Density Foam Roller, $18, Amazon

Forearm Balancing Bridge

Start on all fours with your forearms on the foam roller. Maintaining this placement in your upper body, extend your legs to form a downward facing V, then return to start. Repeat 20 times.

Side Straddle

Lying on your right forearm on your right side, extend both legs out to the side squeezing the foam roller in between your thighs. Maintain this position and lift both legs directly toward the ceiling. Lower. Repeat 15 times and switch sides.

Try: LuxFit Premium Foam Roller, $8.95, Amazon

Balanced Booty Burnout

Start on all fours with your left knee on the foam roller and your hands on the floor in front of you. Extend your right leg out to the side and tap your toe on the floor. Keeping your right leg straight, lift it up to the back and squeeze your glut max. Keeping your leg straight, lower the leg back to the side slowly with control. Repeat 20 times on the right leg, then switch sides.

Hamstring Bridge

Start lying on your back with both feet on the foam roller in front of you. Press your hips up to the ceiling, maintaining your knee alignment right in front of your hips. Keep your hips up and pulse your heels toward your booty 15 times. Then lower and repeat for 2 more sets.

Images: LoloStock/Fotolia, Ashley Mateo (6)