Lower Limb Foam Roller Exercises

At Yarra Osteopathy we treat lots of athletes such as cyclists and footballers who regularly use foam roller exercises as part of their rehab. The foam roller is a great tool for the treatment and prevention of sports injuries. In our previous foam roller blog we outlined some of the fantastic ways to stretch out your posture and upper body. Here are three of our most regularly prescribed foam rolling exercises for the legs…

Use your breath as you are rolling… Breathe in as you roll in one direction and out as you roll in the other.  If you find any tight spots, gently work into them by slowing down the pace you are rolling and letting your body weight sink into the roller. A general prescription I often give my patients in South Yarra is to perform five slow and purposeful rolls with five deep breaths. If there are any tender points along the course of the muscle, repeat five times more slowly and intentionally over these areas. As you become more accustomed to your foam roller exercises you will be able to gauge how much pressure and rolling is required over each area.


Sit on the roller with your arms behind you and one leg crossed. Tilt your hips to the side of the leg that is crossed. From this position you can roll from the bottom of your hip up to the base of your spine.

Change the angle of your hip rotation depending on your individual needs. Repeat both sides.


This piece of fascia runs on the outside of your thigh from the top of your hip to your knee. Lie on your side and tuck the foam roller underneath the side of your knee. Breathe in as you roll from your knee up to the outside of your hip. Breathe out as you roll back down to just above your knee. With the lower “rolling” leg, make sure you keep the knee straight. To increase the intensity of this exercise, keep the foot and ankle of the rolling leg off the floor so that is in alignment with the corresponding hip.


Come onto all fours and tuck the roller just above your knees as you roll out onto it. Breathe in as you roll up the front of your thighs from your knees to your hips. Breathe out as you return to your knees. Be sure to keep your knees straight and feet elevated off the ground.


As you did with your glutes, your arms are behind you for support but this time the leg you are rolling is stretched out in front. From here, divide your calf into four quadrants. Start with the roller behind the knee… Breathe in as you roll down towards the Achilles tendon and out as you return up to the knee. Work on the outer and then inner sections separately.

Are you currently suffering with pain or a sports injury? Make an appointment to see one of our osteopaths who can assess and treat your injury and show you the best way to integrate the foam roller into your rehabilitation.

Read more about osteopathy and the foam roller.

See you at our osteopath clinic in South Yarra soon!