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Pre-Workout Prep: Top 4 Foam Roller Exercises for Your Lower Body

We put a lot of thought into warming up. Our signature Parisi Active Dynamic Warm-up is often referred to as being harder than most workouts. It's structured, progressive, and meant to prepare the body for explosive work.

Before all that however, we like our athletes to foam roll. "Myofascia release." Myo = muscle. Fascia = type of connective tissue that surrounds the whole body.

It helps with increased flexibility and improves range of motion. The rolling action can help to break down soft tissue adhesions and scar tissue. It's our prewarm-up prep.

Here are 4 lower body exercises to start with. A couple of general rules:

1) roll each area 3-5x. Spend a little bit more time on areas that you feel "knots," soreness, tightness.

2) If it's too sore, roll the surface area instead of maintaining tension like acupressure.

1) Calf: Option to roll both calves at the same time or for more concentrated work - place 1 calf on the roller at a time.

Start at the heel and work up to slightly below the knee. Break down the calf in 3 areas.

For each area, rotate the ankle into 3 positions - toes up, to the right, and to the left.

(2) Side of Hip / specifically targeting Piriformis

Hold or roll. Tilt hips towards the knee that's bent.

Sitting upright will get the glutes. Most will need to lean towards the side like Coach Jess above to isolate the area of the hip that stabilizes the hip = the piriformis, which in turn is constantly under tension.

(3) IT Band.

Option to stack 1 leg on top of the other like Coach Jess does or bring the top leg forward, placing the foot on the ground, w knee pointing towards the ceiling.

Break up the IT Band into 3 parts. Roll the top 1/3 of the IT Band 3-5x, the move down to the middle section of the IT Band and roll 3-5x, then roll the bottom 1/3 of the IT Band stopping right above the knee

(4) Quads.

Same strategy as the IT Band.

Isolate 1 leg at a time and break up the quads into 3 parts.

Start at the top of the hip, on the hip flexors and work down, stopping right above the knee.

Foam rolling is not a substitute for proper warming up or a magic fix of any kind. It does help, however, to prep the body for the next stage of the warm-up.


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