To the untrained eye, foam rolling can look extremely awkward (just watch someone foam roll their glutes or hip flexors). For someone who knows what they’re doing, though, they’re massaging tired and tight muscles and treating their hard-working muscles right — judgey eyes, be damned.
Foam roller image from Shutterstock
This infographic by Greatist shows you eight techniques that can work your most common trouble spots. You can foam roll any of your muscles, though you should avoid directly rolling your lower back. (I especially love foam rolling my lats and IT band — oof). You’ll need to contort your body and get in various positions that will allow you to apply the most pressure to certain sensitive spots. If it gets too much, you can transfer your weight off by placing one leg on the ground; or conversely, place your leg on top of the other to increase pressure.
If you’re just starting out, foam rolling can be excruciatingly uncomfortable. Foam rollers come in varying degrees of stiffness, so start off gently with the blue or white-coloured foam rollers.
How to Foam Roll Like a Pro [Greatist]
This article has been updated since its original publication.