How to use a foam roller to stretch and massage

using a foam roller how to


Last June, after year upon year of just messing about on my bikes, I decided to give racing a bit of a go and got stuck into some proper training with the help of High Rise Coaching. I’d previously not been too keen on the purely athletic side of cycling, but with a clear goal in mind (racing Red Hook Crit) and short, sharp, engaging training sessions prescribed by James, I ended up getting pretty into training, working out in the gym, and paying a bit more attention to my body and its demands.

One of things I began doing after every ride was a series of stretches and some foam rolling, initially using a home-made foam roller I’d fashioned out of a PVC pipe, some lagging and tape, and eventually graduating to a ‘proper’ foam roller that I grabbed from eBay (or was it Amazon?).




It really, really hurt at first, even with the relatively squishy, smooth DIY roller but I persevered as I’d been reliably informed that using a foam roller is one of the only ways of stretching your Iliotibial Band, the band of fibres that runs all the way down the outside edge of the thigh. A tight IT band is a common cause of knee pain, and though I don’t myself suffer from knee problems, I’d very much like to keep things that way, so foam rolling has stayed in my routine.

Using a foam roller gives¬†your sore, tired muscles a good massage, which can promote recovery and can (supposedly) keep your myofascia, the connective tissue surrounding your muscles, nice and supple. I’m not a trained health/fitness professional so I can only go on what I’ve been told and how I feel, and after eight months of using a foam roller I’ve discovered that my legs feel better if I use one and I seem to experience less soreness in my legs the next time I ride.




The following video shows how to use a foam roller after cycling, in case you’d like to try it yourself. Just a quick note – at the end of the video I refer to using a smaller roller or a tennis ball on your backside – this is to massage the piriformis, an area in the glutes that I find gets quite tight and painful, which in turn makes my lower back sore. If you get this problem too, I’d definitely recommend using a tennis ball to roll over the area, in fact, perhaps I’ll make a video explaining that.



If you like the video, please subscribe to my channel and let me know what videos you would like to see in future. Thanks!

Comments (2)
  1. toledozombie February 24, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I bought a roller after hearing about the benefits of using it after exercise. I didn’t really know what to do , but this video just makes it so simple to understand and do! Thanks

    • Juliet_Elliott February 26, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Hi! Thanks for taking the time to comment! Really glad you found it useful. If there’s ever anything else you’d like help with just drop me a line. Cheers!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *