Looking to address muscle tension? In the following tip, personal trainer Marcus Haywood guides you through four foam rolling exercises targeted to release tension in specific areas.

Foam rolling, also known as self-myofascial release, is the practice of using foam rollers, massage balls or
tennis balls to improve muscle mobility. The goal is to relax the connective tissue (the fascia that wraps and
bundles muscles) that can develop knots or trigger points. With the use of foam rolling you can break
the knots and reduce muscle tension, improve circulation, enhance range of motion and reduce aches and pains. If you find tender areas, stay for about 20 seconds while applying gentle pressure. There may be a mild
amount of discomfort, but not pain. Don’t stay too long on one spot; a few minutes should be sufficient for
each area.

Here are 4 target areas that can be supported with foam rolling exercises.

Feet. Place a tennis ball on the floor. Place your foot (bare or in a sock) on top of the ball, and gently move the ball back and forth under your foot making sure to press the ball into the heel, arch and ball of the foot. Focus on two to three minutes per foot.

Glutes, hip and back. Sit on the foam roller with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Cross your left ankle over your right leg just above the knee. The roller will be under your glute (not on your back). Lean slightly into the leg you are massaging and slowly roll back and forth. Target different areas of the muscle by shifting your
weight side to side. Repeat on the other side.

Thighs. Lie face down with your upper thighs (up by hips) on the foam roller. Slowly roll yourself forward until the roller is slightly above the knee. Reverse rolling so that the roller ends at the hips. This can be done
with both or individual legs. Repeat.

Calves. Sit on the floor with legs extended. Place the foam roller under the middle of your right calf. Lift up off the ground and roll the foam roller up and down the calf. Turn your foot inward and outward to get all areas
on the calf. Repeat with the other leg.

Interested in scheduling a personal training session with Marcus Haywood? He can be reached at (757) 561-5475 | mhaywood@culpeperwellness.org or by calling Culpeper Sport & Fitness at 540-825-0000.