Georgiy Sekretaryuk
February 15, 2016
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Tips to Foam Rolling for Training & Running

How do I use a foam roller?

Fret not, here’s a guide to help reduce those tired, sore and tight muscles. Especially if you’re training for the Sun Run, BMO and other upcoming races.

Foam rollers come in many different lengths and sizes, and it all depends on the body part you are wanting to target and what you are trying to achieve. I will show you how to “roll out” your Hamstrings, Calves and ITB/Vastus Lateralis. I will also show you a very useful way to improve upper back mobility, which is great for those who sit at a desk all day!

Tips to Foam Rolling

  • Focus on small sections of each muscle, trying to roll over the whole muscle is sometimes very strenuous and difficult
  • More is not better, yes you want to feel “it” but it shouldn’t be excruciating
  • Roll back and forth a couple of times but no need to spend more then 1-2 minutes per muscle


Your hamstrings run the back of your thigh from your gluteus to your knee. Try rolling back and forth with your toes facing upward, toes pointing inward and toes pointing outward, as the hamstrings are three muscles.

Tips to foam rolling Hamstrings | Burnaby Physio Care


The calf consists of the gastrocnemius and the soleus, these muscles run from the back of the knee to the ankle, just as you do with the hamstrings try rolling back and forth with your toes facing upward, toes pointing inward, and toes pointing outward.

Tips to foam rolling Burnaby Physio Care

Iliotibial band (ITB) /Vastus

Both the ITB and Vastus Lateralis are on the outside of the thigh. If you were to stand up tall with your hand by your side, where your third finger lands is where you want to concentrate rolling as this is where a common trigger point is.

Tips to foam rolling Burnaby Physio Care

Tips to foam rolling Burnaby Physio Care

Mid to Upper Back

To increase the mobility of the mid to
upper back (Thoracic spine)

  • Place the foam roller horizontal to your spine
  • You want to start with the foam roller at the base of your shoulder blades
  • Keep your bottom on the ground and I like to support my neck with my hands
  • Slowly arch over the foam roller. This may be uncomfortable so don’t push it but it’s not
    the most comfortable thing ever either. Hold the position for 10 seconds and slowly rise
  • Once back to starting position, move your bottom down and the foam roller will move up the
    spine; try move only 1-2 cm at a time as we are trying to target each vertebrae
  • Arch over the foam roller 5-7 times and stop before you get to the base of your neck

Tips to foam rolling Burnaby Physio Care
Tips to foam rolling Burnaby Physio Care

Our Related Posts on Sports Physiotherapy

Sports Physiotherapy at Burnaby PhysioCare

If you have sustained an injury or are currently suffering from one our physiotherapists at Absolute PhysioCare & Sports Rehab in Burnaby B.C. can help you optimize your recovery and get you back to pre-injury state.

If you have any questions regarding your sports related injury, feel free to drop by and meet the sports therapy team. Contact us at 604-558-CARE (2273), or click here to request a consultation, as we would be happy to assist you!

Written by Christina Brownlow, our physiotherapist in Burnaby.



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