If you’re not using a foam roller, you may be missing out on one of the easiest ways to reduce muscle pain and increase range of motion. Self-myofascial release (SMR)—exercises that break up muscle adhesions (knots)—should be considered a must for any hard-training guy. And all it takes is a few minutes before or after your workout. But a dense foam roller is much more versatile than you’d think, and can help you train in brand new ways. Try these three unique moves and you’ll never look at a foam roller the same way again.
Place two foam rollers parallel with each other, shoulder-width apart. Get into pushup position with a hand grasping each roller. Perform a pushup without letting the rollers move; this will improve grip strength and stabilization.
2. Pec stretch
Lie on your back so that the foam roller runs straight along your spinal column.Retract your shoulder blades and hold for 20–30 seconds so you feel a stretch in your pecs.
3. Board Press
In lieu of a proper board press, a roller can take the place of a three- or four-board. Tuck the roller (or half-roller) under your shirt and get benching. The restricted range of motion will help you work on your lockout.