A Full-Body Foam Roller Routine for Beginners

By , Jessica Smith, Certified Personal Trainer
Foam rollers are excellent, inexpensive tools that can be used both for muscular warm up and recovery. Most gyms have a few of them available in the stretching area, but if you are an at-home exerciser you may want to consider investing in one of your own (they usually run between $7-$20—here's a link to the one I purchased on Amazon).
Studies have shown that foam rolling (also known as self-myofascial release) can actually help reduce stiffness, pain, and even improve your range of motion (aka performance) during your workout. Think of it like this—when you first grab a pair of jeans out of the dryer and put them on, they are super stiff and hard to move in, so you do your squatting ritual to help ''break them in'' and fit comfortably again, right? Utilizing a foam roller can help loosen up your stiff, sore muscles again so you can move comfortably and efficiently. Try rolling as often as you like—before or after a workout, and/or on your recovery day. 
This video features my 15-minute, go-to foam-rolling plan when my muscles are sore and in need of some release. Try it before a workout, after a workout or on a rest day to help release tension in certain trigger points using this total body deep tissue massage technique.

Please leave me a comment below and let me know if you tried the routine—in which area of your body did you feel the most tightness?

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About the Author

As someone who struggled to lose weight for years, Jessica found that the key to her own 40-pound weight loss was making small, healthy lifestyle changes that led to big, lasting results. Now, as a certified wellcoach, fitness instructor and personal trainer, she has spent the last 15 years helping students and clients reach their goals in New York City, Los Angeles and Miami, and now reaches millions online through her YouTube Channel and home exercise DVD series. Please visit jessicasmithtv.com/shop to learn more about her fun, results driven programs for all levels of exercisers.

For more free weekly workout videos and tips, be sure to subscribe at Youtube.com/JessicaSmithTV to access our full library of over 300 FREE full-length workout videos. 

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Thank for the video...something new for me to try! Report
CECELW 4/1/2021
read this before Report
Hope some of these are as easy as she shows! Report
This felt wonderful Report
Thank You...……... Report
Thanks for the video. This will help me and my daughter. She is athletic and is constantly doing this on her calves. I will share this article with her. Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Very helpful, thanks Jessica, you're a star! Report
Good info. Thanks Report
As always Jess makes even exercising with foam roller look doable and it's fun. Try her out she is great for indoor high or low intensity workouts. Report
Interesting, but I'm not sure it's for me Report
Thank you Report
Thank you for the tips! Report
I enjoyed doing the foam roller 15 min workout. My roller is very hard - I found the side of the legs to be the place where I had the most tension. I've had the roller for awhile, and now I know more things to do with it! It almost feels like I just had a heavy duty massage! Report
Interesting Report
That was helpful Report
Thanks for sharing. Report
Absolutely amazing! Report
This is a great exercise! Report
Thank you Report
Thanks. Report
I need exercises that will loosen my lower back Report
Thanks for the information. I could have used this information when I first got my foam roller. Report
I needed this video when I got my foam roller 2 years ago. I've watched many, many foam roller videos and most go too fast or are far too detailed for me. As a beginner, I needed slow and steady. This was perfect. So, yes, I do use my foam roller, not as much as I need to, I'm sure. I do have a great deal of pain. I'm not sure the difference between discomfort and pain. I would never use the foam roller if I avoided pain altogether. I don't get stupid with it; basically if I find a knot, I roll gently on it for maybe 30 seconds or so and then move to the next thing. I also find the myofascial (sp?) balls that are mentioned in the video to be very helpful. I lug around a laptop bag for my job and my left shoulder takes the brunt of that abuse. The ball doesn't change everything but it does release some tension. I also appreciate a few other things. The dog is great. I love that Jessica's clothes don't match. I really appreciate her not being perfect, just being real. Report

Thanks. Report
good info Report
Interesting. Now to find a place to keep the roller when I'm not using it before I get one. Report
New to me. Report
Thank you! Report
I use a foam roller during Pilates sessions; especially when having lower back discomfort not related to exercise. I have one at home too. Great back support for some of the Pilates moves. Love it! Report
I use a roller but this has given me more ideas. Report
Thanks Report
Excellent Report
FYI - the foam roller product suggested in this article is unavailable v at Amazon.

Great read though. Very appreciated. Report
I just bought myself a foam roller. I'm looking forward to trying it. Report
I like foam rolling, but boy is it painful if you go to long using it. I have fibromyalgia and connective tissue disease. Foam rolling is good for muscle work. But just be careful and be warned...it does hurt at first. Report
Got one but did not know how to use it. Thanks for the info. Report
Can't wait to try this out! I have a foam roller from past PT, and I still use some of those excercises. Maybe I can expand my use a bit. Report
Thank you for creating and presenting this video. I've had a foam roller for some time and have wanted the guidance on how to use it. I trust in the guidance of Jessica and SP. I now use this workout in the days that follow days that I experience seizures. Foam rolling is an excellent and safe way for me to release the tight muscles after they have experienced seizures. Report
Wow! I just started using the foam roller and I LOVE it! Thank you so much for this video! Report
Oh my gosh! Now I can finally get to those knots. What a relief.... Report
I absolutely LOVED this video. I sometimes get bursitis in my hip and was told by a PT to use the roller to massage that area. It works and "hurts so good" LOL but I've wanted to use the roller for other areas and never knew how. This is a great video to get me started.

One question I have is "Is roller firmness just a personal preference or should you use different firmness for different areas of the body?"

Thanks again. I definitely plan on trying all of these moves on the roller my next time at the gym. Report
I was having trouble with my hips after running and my chiropractor suggested I use foam roller after my runs and it was very helpful. Report
Melayahm,I found foam rollers excruciating until I bought a soft one from a therapist. Everyone needs to find which firmness works best for themselves. Report
I have a foam roller, bought one for after running. I have never felt so much pain that wasn't bleeding profusely or an infected tooth. Whilst this probably means it was working, it's very hard to self inflict such pain. Report
Love this workout! I have bad knees and my right ham strings get super tight. I have a total knee that didn't work out so well as it doesn't bend more than 88 to 90 degrees. It helps tremendously! :D Report
jus did the foam roller...I have an SI issue and I'm hoping it's helped! Report