The 5 Best Foam Roller Exercises For A Stronger Knee Recovery

The 5 Best Foam Roller Exercises For A Stronger Knee Recovery

The 5 Best Foam Roller Exercises for a Stronger Knee

The 5 Best Foam Roller Exercises for a Stronger Knee

Self myofascial release… what? Self myofascial release is simply the technical term for self-massage. Before the era of soft tissue therapy, isokinetics and electronics were the stable for injured athletes. However, hands on massage techniques became overwhelmingly successful for physical therapists on  injury recovery and prevention for athletes. A huge role in the rise of its popularity is due in part to the introduction of “foam rollers.” Physical therapist, Mike Clark, is credited by many with his initial exposure to the athletic and physical therapy communities of the foam roller.

“What does all this have to do with foam rollers you might ask? Well. Foam rollers are the poor mans massage therapist, soft tissue work for the masses.” – Michael Boyle

So, what is a foam roller?

Foam Roller Exercises for Knee

IT Band Foam Roller exercise for Knee

A Foam Roller is a cylindrical piece that is covered with a sheet of hard-celled foam. Using the foam roller simply requires pressure on the persons muscles to release tension, trigger points or knots. Think of how dough is rolled out with a bread roller to get the air pockets out so that the dough is nice and smooth. This is essentially what you are doing to your muscles, smoothing out these air bubbles( knots) from your muscles. Depending on what stage  you are at with physical therapy, you’ll want to start off very light as this can be very uncomfortable and painful at times even for the most in-shape athlete. The reason for this is due to the pressure you apply to your muscle tissues with a foam roller, which is why I suggest starting off lightly, especially if you’re new to this highly beneficial technique. With this in mind, let’s take a look a simple 5 minute routine to use for the important muscles associated with a fast and healthy knee recover:

1. Quadriceps

Foam Roller Exercises for Quadriceps

Foam Roller Exercise for Quadriceps

Lay flat on your stomach and place the foam roller underneath your quadriceps muscles just above the knees. Hold yourself parallel to the floor with your forearms. Use your arms to pull forward and to pull backwards rolling from just above your knee to mid-hip. Lift your feet up to apply more pressure to your quadriceps.

Benefit: Foam rolling your quadriceps can loosen your patellar tendon which can prevent tendinitis and pain around your knee cap.

2. Hamstrings

Hamstring Foam Roller Exercise

Foam Roller Exercise for Hamstrings

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and the foam roller placed underneath your hamstrings. Place your hands on the floor by your side just a bit behind you. Use your hands to roll your hamstrings forward and back on the foam roller from the base of you butt to the back of your knees. To target the full range of your hamstrings, point your feet outwards and inward. To apply more pressure, place one foot over the other.

Benefit: Foam rolling your hamstrings will work wonders to prevent lower back pain. Additionally, this may help improve athletic endurance and stamina when running and sprinting.

3. Iliotibial(IT) Band


Foam Roller Exercise For IT Band

Lay on your side holding yourself up with your forearm and the foam roller underneath your IT band. Cross your other leg over with your foot planted. Guide your leg from the side of your knee up to the side of your hip. To apply more pressure, place your planted foot on top of your other foot.

Benefit: Foam rolling your IT bands will help prevent ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome). This can help release the pain associated on the outer side of your knee as well as a stinging sensation on the bottom of your foot which occur’s from a high mileage use.

4. Glutes

Foam Roller Exercise for Glutes

Foam Roller Exercise for Glutes

Sit on the foam roller planting your hands on the floor by your side. Lean towards thee side of your glute and hip to target the full range of your glutes. To increase pressure, cross one leg over with your foot rested on your knee.

Benefit: Foam rolling your glutes helps prevent lower back pain.

5. Hip-Adductors



Lay on your stomach parallel to the foam roller. Place the inner side of your thigh on top of the foam roller. Guide your hip-adductors forward and back from your groin to your knee.

Benefit: Foam rolling your hip-adductors is extremely important as it helps prevent groin strains. This muscle is most often neglecting.

Alternative to traditional foam roller:

If you have difficulty doing these exercises, I suggest checking out our SKT Foam Roller which is pretty much a bread roller with a foam pad. I’ve personally used one and would say that i prefer this over the traditional foam rollers because of the ease of use of only needing your hands to massage your knee muscles as opposed to using your entire body.

Now that you’ve learned the 5 best foam roller exercises for a stronger knee recovery, let’s review the many benefits of using a foam roller:

  • Ability to break down and massage out muscle adhesion and knots, which helps to increase blood flow for better circulation.
  • Prevents muscle tears and injuries such as ITBS, lower-back pain, groin strain, pulled hamstring and so on.
  • Increases strength and flexibility, which can lead to an increase in sports performance, endurance and stamina

Be sure to check out my other blog posts for knee stretches that will help prevent knee injuries.

Sources: StrengthCoach, MensHealth

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