Recently, I wrote about my experience with pelvic floor dysfunction. In large part, the reason I was experiencing such discomfort was because I had high tone pelvic floor, hip flexor and inner thigh muscles. While it sounds like a good thing, “high tone” means that my muscles were too tight at rest, which was causing the imbalance. To release my muscle tightness in my hips and inner thighs, my physical therapist at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy assigned a few foam rolling exercises for legs and hips, which I found to be uncommon, but also effective.
These aren’t just for pelvic floor dysfunction. If you’re a runner, lift heavy weights or you exercise a lot in general, chances are you’re tight in these areas. Along with classes at The Bar Method, these foam rolling exercises for legs and hips have been pivotal in helping to improve my condition.
This is one of the top areas most people aren’t foam rolling. Position yourself on your belly and prop yourself up on your forearms. Turn one leg out so your inner thigh is resting on top of the foam roller. Slowly roll up and down the inner thigh, avoiding your knee, for 1 minute each side.
This one hits the tops of your thighs and while you’ve probably seen it before and as much as it hurts, there’s no good reason to skip it. You can do one at a time or get both at once the way I am in the photo. Again, start by lying on your stomach and position the foam roller underneath one or both thighs. Roll up and down your thighs stopping before you reach the knee. 1 minute each side or total if you’re doing both together.
The gluteus maximus is one of the strongest muscles in the body and it’s used a lot, like for climbing stairs, so you’ve gotta give it some love. This one is a hard muscle to hit so take some time with the setup. Start by sitting on the floor or a mat and position the foam roller under your seat. So basically, sit on it lengthwise. Lean diagonally to the side you want to roll out first then cross the opposite ankle over the rolling side’s leg. You’ll be making a figure 4 with your leg and ankle. Using your hand on the floor as leverage, roll the foam roller in small motions back and forth over the muscle. Do the same thing on the other side for 1 minute each side.