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Turn a Foam Roller Into More Than Just a Recovery Tool

Try these three unique moves and you’ll never look at a foam roller the same way again.

By Matt Tuthill
Turn a Foam Roller Into More Than Just a Recovery Tool

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.

1. Push-up

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.

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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.

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