I’m now three months postpartum and I continue to receive questions about things I did throughout my pregnancy that helped me remain healthy, fit and injury free during that time. One of the things I did and highly recommend is foam rolling.
A foam roller is a great piece of equipment to keep on hand, pregnant or not. It helps boost tissue repair, increase mobility and decrease soreness. This can be extremely helpful while carrying extra baby weight and feeling tight and bound up. It is suggested to commit yourself to a five- to 10-minute stretching or foam rolling routine three to five week to decrease overall soreness and improve mobility.
General stretching or using a foam roller is safe and highly recommended during pregnancy. It does not increase heart rate like typical exercising, but may reduce the risk of injury and certain complications later in pregnancy. Stretching or using the foam roller can be done multiple times per day, anywhere and with very limited equipment, if any. I made it a point to spend five to 10 minutes four to five times a week to foam roll!
Check out my simple and effective pregnancy foam rolling routine I did throughout my pregnancy and continue to do a few times a week postpartum!
Seated Roll (Targeting Calves)
Sit on the floor with your legs extended and palms on floor behind you, fingers facing away from your body. Position the foam roller under your calves, perpendicular to your body. Cross one ankle over the other. Lift your hips and slowly roll back and forth over tight areas of your calf muscles. When you feel a tight spot, settle into it and allow your bodyweight to create a bit of pressure to break up any scar tissue.
Downward Roll (Targeting Quadriceps)
With the foam roller under your thighs and perpendicular to your body, rest your forearms on the floor. Lift one foot and roll back and forth over your quads for about a minute. Settle into an area that feels like it needs some added attention. Switch legs and continue on the other side. Play around by bending and stretching your leg to target different parts of your quad muscle.
Side Roll (Targeting IT Bands)
Lie on your left side with the foam roller positioned under your hip and perpendicular to your body. Rest both hands and right foot on the floor. Using your hands and right foot, slowly roll the foam roller down from your hip to your knee, pausing where you feel any sore spots. Continue for a few minutes until you feel loosened up. Switch legs and do the same thing on the other side.