However, foam rollers can actually be used to build muscle strength in addition to helping you recover from different types of exercise. Foam rollers usually have a curved and very unstable surface. So any time you try to balance on one, you “… recruit more muscles, especially in your core, to perform the move.” That is what Executive Director of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical Fitness and Wellness Center Tyler G. Travis tells us.
You can use a foam roller to build core muscle strength. Your core is so important in just about everything you do. From walking to running, lifting objects and weights, bending, stretching and simply moving in your computer chair, a strong core is required. The key is to employ a foam roller with other bodyweight exercises.
For instance, the plank is one of the most beneficial and common bodyweight exercises. Add a foam roller and it instantly becomes harder for your muscles to perform. Instead of placing your hands on the ground, you place them shoulder width apart on your roller.
With the roller and your feet as the only parts touching the ground, keep yourself as stiff as a plank. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and repeat 3 to 5 times. This will work your abs, your shoulders, your back and your gluteus maximus.
You are probably familiar with how to perform a push-up. Try this variation. Instead of placing both your hands on the floor, place your left hand on a foam roller. Push up, putting the majority of your weight on your right hand. In the up position, raise your left hand and roller until it is parallel to your chest. Perform 3 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions with each hand. This is great for your shoulders, abs, biceps and chest.
Those are just two bodyweight exercises that become more difficult when you integrate a foam roller. Add this versatile recovery tool and strength builder to any compatible exercise to give your strength training program a boost.