Learn How to Foam Roll to Prevent and Alleviate Injury
4.1 (27 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
584 students enrolled

Learn How to Foam Roll to Prevent and Alleviate Injury

Foam rolling tips and techniques to help you alleviate aches and pains and roll out from head to toe.
4.1 (27 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
584 students enrolled
Created by Cori Lefkowith
Last updated 5/2014
English [Auto]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 31 mins on-demand video
  • 6 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • 33 videos highlighting different SMR techniques
  • A quick guide to basic foam rolling
  • An injury prevention guide for Shin Splints and Plantar Fasciitis
  • An injury prevention guide for neck and upper back pain
  • An injury prevention guide for wrist and elbow pain
  • A dynamic stretching guide and activation exercises to help you prevent injury
  • Common household items may be used, but the tools below make things easier:
  • Foam Roller or Grid
  • Tennis ball or Lacrosse Ball
  • Trigger Point Roller
  • Trigger Point Block
  • Tiger Tail or Hand-held Roller


There is no need to suffer from chronic aches and pains.

And simply taking time off isn't enough to get rid of the pain.

While rest is important, self massage or foam rolling is another important part of recovery.

Any good workout program should start with foam rolling because it inhibits the tight muscles and gets them to relax so you can stretch them.

Self-myofascial release or foam rolling allows you to relax muscles, reduce pain and restore muscles to their normal length-tension relationships and function.

Self-myofascial release (SMR) does this by “autogenic inhibition.” Basically what that means is that the pressure you apply with your hands or a foam rolling tool (roller, ball or such) on the tight muscle forces the muscle’s own receptors to relax it.

Not sure you need to include foam rolling in your routine? Check out these benefits:

  • Corrects muscle imbalances by loosening tight muscles to restore a proper length-tension relationship
  • Improves joint range of motion because no muscles are tight and causing restriction
  • Relieves muscle soreness and joint stress
  • Increases extensibility of musculotendinous junction, giving you more flexibility and a full range of motion
  • Improves neuromuscular efficiency aka a better mind-body connection so that you can recruit the correct muscles
  • Maintains normal functional muscular length, muscles are at their proper length and not tight or short

The basic guidelines to foam rolling are – find areas of tightness and hold on those areas until pain lessens a bit and use the smallest hardest tool you can to dig out those areas.

In this course, you will learn techniques to roll out from head to toe. You will learn how to use different SMR tools so that no matter what you have on hand, you can always roll out and loosen up. We will also teach you which tools are best to use to reach certain areas of tightness.

After this course, you will be able to start alleviating those minor aches and pains!

Who this course is for:
  • Anyone With A Desk Job
  • Recreational Exercisers
  • Athletes
Course content
Expand all 38 lectures 31:25
+ Foam Rolling Basics
2 lectures 05:13

Learn the basics of self-myofascial release and tips to help you get the most out of your foam rolling routine.

Preview 02:10

Picking the right tool is dependent on a couple of different things. First, you must consider what you have available. Second, you must consider what area you are rolling out. And third, you must consider how much pressure you can handle. This video will discuss some common tools and when to use them.

Preview 03:03
+ Neck, Shoulders and Arms
4 lectures 02:38

If you have wrist and elbow pain then you need to try the moves in this Section. This first move targets our forearms which can often be tight from sitting at a computer all day.

Preview 00:47

Learn to roll out your arms (triceps and biceps) using a trigger point roller. If your arms are tight, they may be contributing to your elbow pain.

Preview 00:46

This video shows another way to target your triceps using a trigger point roller.

Preview 00:22

Often from sitting at a desk hunched over a computer all day, we also have neck and upper back pain along with elbow and wrist pain. Learn to roll out your neck and shoulders using a tennis ball.

Preview 00:43
+ Back
5 lectures 03:42

From sitting hunched over a computer all day, we often suffer from neck, shoulder and upper back pain. Here is another great move to alleviate that pain! Also, check out the handout below for more great exercises to alleviate pain.

Preview 00:48

You can also roll out your upper back using a large foam ball. This is great for beginners that can't handle the pressure of a smaller harder ball.

Preview 00:32

When we sit all day at a computer, our back is constantly in flexion. This move works on your thoracic extension (aka the opposite of what you do all day) to loosen up your mid and upper back and improve your posture.

Preview 00:43

Tight lats can also be a problem caused by sitting all day and can contribute to our bad posture. This move, using a roller, will loosen them up and get them ready to work so you can do more pull ups!

Preview 00:43

This easy to make tool is a great way to roll out right along your spine. It can loosen up knots between your shoulders as well as ease pain in your low back.

Using the Peanut
+ Chest
4 lectures 02:28

In this video is one quick foam rolling move to target both your chest and your back to save you time. It targets numerous areas that are commonly tight and may put you at higher risk for shoulder injury.

Chest to Back

If you have a larger ball or foam ball to roll out with, this is a great way to target the muscles of your chest.

Chest with Foam Ball

There are a variety of ways to roll out even if you don't have trigger point tools. A ball or even a dog toy can be used against a wall to roll out your chest. Here's how to do it.

Chest with Tennis Ball

While a ball is the easiest way to target the muscles of your chest, if you only have a roller, you can still roll them out. Here's how!

Chest with Roller
+ Hips/Glutes
4 lectures 03:25

Low back pain? Then this is the move for you. This SMR move helps you roll out many of the tight areas that may be causing you low back pain. And below is a link to exercises that may also help ease your pain by activating your core and glutes. Rolling out is important to loosen the tight muscles, but if you also don't strengthen the weak muscles, then your pain will never truly go away.

LPHC (The Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex)

If you are a runner who also has a desk job, rolling out your TFL is key to preventing pain and injury in your low back, hips and even your knees. You can use a roller or even a smaller, harder ball to roll out this muscle. Pick a tool that applies pressure you can handle.


If a smaller ball applies too much pressure to trigger points in your glutes and hips, you can also use a larger foam ball. While foam rolling our glutes and hips is super important so is getting the glutes activated. Because we sit all day, they are generally under-active. Check out the link below for some great mini band exercises to strengthen and activate your glutes.

Glute with Ball

While the best way to dig into your glutes is with a ball or even a dog toy, you can use a roller if that is what you have on hand or if that is all the pressure you can handle. The move in this video will help you target your glutes as much as you can with the roller.

Glute with Roller
+ Quads
2 lectures 01:18

Tight quads and hips can lead to knee pain. While a ball can be a great way to roll out the muscles right above the knee, it isn't the easiest way to roll out the length of your quads. This SMR move with the roller is a great way to target any tight spots down the front of your legs.

Quads with Roller

Just like the smaller and harder the ball, the smaller and harder the roller, the more you can dig in. Here's how to use a smaller roller to alleviate the tightness in your quads.

Quads with Trigger Point Roller
+ Hamstrings
3 lectures 01:58

If you have low back pain and sit all day, your hamstrings may be tight. And it is hard to truly dig into the hamstring with a roller on the ground. One of the best ways to release knots in the hamstring (especially right under your glutes) is with a ball on a box step, table, bench or chair.

Hamstrings with Ball

The trigger point roller is another great way to roll out your hamstring as long as you use it while seated up off the ground. You can apply more pressure when you roll out your hamstring on a bench or chair.

Hamstring with Trigger Point Roller

If you are just starting out, the roller may be enough pressure to dig out your hamstrings. Here are some great techniques to get the most out of the roller if you don't have other tools available.

Hamstring with Roller
+ IT Bands and Adductors
3 lectures 01:58

If you are a runner, you need to pay special attention to your IT Band. This area is tight on many runners and can lead to knee and hip pain. Since the IT Band can be very sensitive at the beginning, the video above will show you a few different ways to roll out using a roller.

IT Band

If your knees buckle in when you squat, walk or run, if you have pain in your lower body, your adductors may be tight. Here is a great way to roll out your inner thighs with a roller. You will also want to try the workout below to strengthen your glutes and prevent your knees from caving in.

Adductors with Roller

Just like using a smaller harder ball, the trigger point roller digs into tight muscles more than the traditional roller. It is also a great tool to use on the inside of your thigh just above your knee.

Adductors with Trigger Point Roller
+ Lower Leg and Feet
8 lectures 05:34

Shin Splints? Knee pain? Foot and ankle pain? Then you need to roll out your shins. Make sure to target the muscles of your shin and not your shin bone. Also, if you are suffering from Shin Splints or Plantar Fasciitis, you may want to check out the handout below.

Shins with Ball

Sometimes it is easier to dig into your shins when you can press your bodyweight down into a tool. While you can't dig into specific spots as well as with a ball, it does allow you to use your weight to apply more pressure.

Shins with Roller

Here is another great way to roll out your shins and even a great way to hit your peroneals (down the outside of your shins). The trigger point roller allows you to use more of your bodyweight while digging in more than with your standard roller.

Shins with Trigger Point Roller

If you have a tendency to walk, run or stand on the inside of your feet or if your knees buckle in, you may need to roll out the outside of your lower legs. Tightness here can cause knee and ankle pain. Here is a great way to target points of tightness on either side of your lower legs.


If you are a runner, athlete or even a lifter looking to improve lifts such as the squat, you need to roll out your calves. (You especially need to roll out your calves if you wear high heels!) One of the best ways to target trigger points in the calves is with a tennis ball.

Calves with Ball

The roller is also a great tool to use to roll out your calves. In this video you will learn a couple of different ways to apply even more pressure to tight spots and help the muscles relax.

Calves with Roller

The trigger point roller is another great tool to use on your calves. Just like with the ball, though, you will need a block or a stack of books to place the roller on so that you can apply more pressure.

Calves with Trigger Point Roller

If you wear dress shoes or have Plantar Fasciitis, you need to roll out the bottom of your foot. Rolling out and taking care of the bottom of your foot can help prevent pain all the way up your body.

+ Stretching and Activation
2 lectures 02:40

After rolling everything out, you must stretch and activate. The moves in this Section will do just that. In this video are 5 Bridge Exercises that will open everything up after sitting at a computer all day. These moves will stretch your chest and open up your hips as well as activate your core and glutes. Below is a handout explaining each movement.

5 Bridge Exercises to Stretch and Activate

While all 5 Bridge Exercises can be included as part of a warm up, if you need something quick, try this "yoga" sequence (it is also included in the handout from Lesson 35). This "yoga" sequence will stretch you out and get everything loose from head to toe. For more great stretches and activation moves, check out some of the links below.

Yoga Sequence