3 Unusual Ways to Use the Foam Roller That Will Get You Offensively Strong

by Jordan Syatt April 12, 2015

With the countless benefits of foam rolling and other forms of manual therapy finally breaking into the mainstream, it’s almost impossible to find a gym that doesn’t have a handful of foam rollers lying around.

And while understanding how to foam roll is an important skill for all coaches and lifters – I teach you how in my free step-by-step Guide to Warming Up  in this article I’m excited to show you 3 exercises using the foam roller that will get you offensively strong.

SHELC On Foam Roller

I’ve written about The Supine Hip Extension with Leg Curl (SHELC) before as it’s unquestionably one of my all-time favorite exercises for improving hamstring strength and function.

With countless progressions, regressions, and variations to choose from it’s a highly versatile drill and, in my experience, has drastic carryover to deadlift performance.

The great part about doing it on the foam roller (instead of a physio ball) is that it increases the range of motion and subsequent difficulty of the exercise. So if you’re at the point where SHELC’s on a physio ball are too easy, definitely give ’em a shot on the foam roller.

And if they’re still too easy, try ’em out single-leg.

For more technique and programming guidelines, you can watch my SHELC instructional video, HERE.

Push-Up on Foam Roller

Push-Ups are another versatile drill with countless variations to choose from and innumerable strength and performance benefits.

What separates push-ups on a foam roller apart from most variations, however, is the slightly unstable surface can help to improve shoulder health and function via increased contributions from the rotator cuff and shoulder stabilizers.

For added difficulty – and increased Serratus Anterior involvement – you can slightly elevate your feet onto a low box or bench behind you.

Ab Wheel Rollout on Foam Roller

Another phenomenal drill, I’ve written about the ab wheel rollout numerous times before and one of my most popular pieces outlined 2 highly advanced ab wheel rollout variations.

But seeing as many facilities still don’t have ab wheels available, I have many of my clients do ab wheel rollouts on foam rollers with extraordinary success.

Not only is it a great drill for improved core stability and performance, when performed correctly it doubles as an effective exercise for shoulder health and function.

For more technique and programming guidelines, you can watch my ab wheel rollout instructional video HERE.

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-J






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