Foam rollers can reduce pain, prevent injury, and maybe even help you up your bedroom game. Here's how to use one.

By now, you've probably seen all kinds of foam rollers scattered around your gym. Vibrating ones. Knobbed ones. Extra long, torso-sized ones. Foam rollers that actually roll up and fit in your carry-on. If you've never used one, the fitness tool looks a lot more like a Mega Man buster gun than an essential instrument for overall fitness and health. And now is the time to start.

"Using a roller will make you more efficient in every movement you do," says fascia and alignment specialist Lauren Roxburgh, who has worked with her fair share of MLB And NBA players, including Baron Davis. "It will help you roll away density, scar tissue, and knots that build up in your body, lubricate joints, and reduce inflammation in the body while increasing flexibility and range of motion."

So essentially, foam rolling is to your workout plan like Bruno Mars is to the music industry: groundbreaking. But, like Mars, it can't really be for everyone, right?

Turns out, like "Uptown Funk," it can be. "[A roller can] help you reach your highest physical potential, whatever your age or stage. So whether you want to reduce persistent pain, boost your fitness, improve your pickup basketball game or your bedroom game. The roller can really help."

Hello! Bedroom game?! All of that for the very reasonable price of $29.99(ish). For advice on how to use one, Roxburgh breaks it down for us by muscle group.


Lie on a mat with the roller placed under your upper back, leaning your mid-back over to the left on the roller. Interlace your fingers behind your head to support your head and neck. Using your feet to drive the movement, inhale as you roll up and lean to the left on the roller to massage the lats and underarm area, stopping at your armpit. Exhale as you roll and massage down the armpit and lats, stopping at the bottom of your ribcage, and then roll back up.

Repeat this movement 8 to 10 times on each side.


With the roller placed under your calves, right below the knee (but take care to stay off the back of the knee). Cross your left calf over your right calf on the roller. Place your hands on the ground a few inches out on either side of your hips, fingers pointing outward. Press down into your hands to lift your bottom off the mat, keeping your calves balanced on the roller. Roll out each calf 10 times.

Adductors/Inner Thighs

Come down to your forearms with your torso facing the mat, and place the roller under your right upper inner thigh. (To do this you will need to bend your right knee up and out to the side and place the foam roller up and under your groin, parallel to your torso.) Taking care to keep your upper body square to the ground as you move, use your forearms and left leg to power the motion as you roll the roller out toward the knee—stopping just above it—and back up to your groin.

Repeat this motion eight times on each side.


Come down to your forearms with your stomach facing the floor. Place the roller under your hips. Keep your abs engaged to prevent overarching your lower back. Exhale as you roll all the way down to the tops of your knees. Inhale as you slowly roll up to your hips.

Repeat this motion eight times on each side.


Sit on your mat and place the roller beneath your hamstrings. Place your hands behind you with fingertips pointing out to the side. Press your hands into the mat to lift your bottom off the floor. Continue pressing your hands into the mat and engage your core to rock yourself forward and backward, pushing the roller up and down the hamstrings, from just under the bones at the base of your pelvis that you sit on to just above the knee. Breath deeply, exhaling as you move forward and inhaling as you move backward.

Repeat this motion eight times on each side.

Watch Now:

A Three-Minute Leg Workout