Three Foam Rolling Techniques For Runners

Illustration: Oliver Baker

3. Quad Release

Why it’s important: Most of us have tight quads and hip flexors to begin with, but after running and cycling for miles, they get even tighter. “Tightness of your hip flexors and quads can cause your gluteal muscles to get weaker, and that results in increased risk of low back pain, not to mention decreased power,” Fontaine says. “Most cases of runner’s knee are due largely in part to short and tight quads.”

How to roll: Lie on your stomach with the roller under your thighs. Roll back and forth from hip to mid-thigh for about a minute. As an alternative exercise, you can use a stretching strap or rope to stretch your quad while you roll. Putting the quad under tension allows the roller to work deeper, getting a better release of the muscle.

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