Wait! Did you stretch yet? After you try out one of these 10 workouts under 10 minutes or one of these 11 home workouts, a good stretch is in order and a foam roller could be just what you need to prevent injury. If you’re thinking, “What the heck is a foam roller?” let’s just say it’s more than a good reason to wear cute yoga pants. It’s one of the best ways to work out those muscle kinks. Mmm, sound good? Here are 10 to try!
1. Calf Stretch: If you roll your new favorite foam roller down your leg, you can work through the tightness in your calves. Cross your legs to add extra weight and really work out the tension. (via Pilot Fitness)
2. Shin Stretch: If you’ve had shin splints, you know how painful they are, making this stretch a must-do post-run to keep that pesky pain away. The rolling actions will make sure your treadmill days don’t end anytime soon. (via FitSugar)
3. Hamstring Stretch: The large muscles in your thighs are just begging to be rolled out. And we can’t make any promises, but this soothing massage will probably make you just as happy as the model in the photo. (via Skinny Mom)
4. Shoulder Stretch: This stretch is sure to make you go “Ahhh…” And let’s be honest, we don’t always have someone close by to offer up a back massage, making a foam roller almost better than an S.O. (via Elephant Journal)
5. Ankle Stretch: Whether it’s before or after a run, this stretch will make your Achilles’ heels feel like new. If you can manage to hold yourself up, not only will the additional weight deepen the stretch, but you’ll burn a few extra calories, as well. (via Altitude Verbier)
6. Upper Back Stretch: If you’re anything like us, you spend way too much time hunched over your computer only to follow it up with more time hunched over your driver’s wheel. Counteract the slouch with this thoracic spine massage that’ll make you happy to sit up straight. (via FitSugar)
7. IT Band Stretch: Your IT band runs from your hip to your knee, and you definitely don’t want tightness in that large chain of muscle (or at least that’s what the yoga teachers tell us). If you’re a runner, or really any kind of athlete, this stretch can help keep your oh-so-important knees happy and healthy. (via Oxygen)
8. Quad Stretch: If you haven’t noticed already, foam rollers are best for large muscle groups like the ones in your legs. This move targets a part of the leg that’s usually pretty difficult to stretch out. It can be a little painful at first, so take it easy the first few times until you get used to the sensation. (via Skinny Mom)
9. Glute Stretch: When you stretch, chances are you forget about your booty. But we certainly didn’t! Perfect for cyclists, this stretch can help prevent next-day soreness after your ride. (via Huffington Post)
10. Lower Back Stretch: Rolling back and forth across the foam roller makes for a great massage across your lower back and upper hips. After a long day of sitting without back support, this simple move can feel like heaven. (via FitSugar)
So tell us, is your foam roller your new best friend? We want to know what moves help you relax after a workout! Let us know in the comments below!