‘A roller workout is important for both runners and weight trainers, as it pumps blood to the muscles, aiding recovery,’ says personal trainer Natalie Ziegler. ‘Plus, it’s a great workout in itself, targeting the lower abs and the fascial layer – the fibrous tissue just beneath your skin – which can both be tricky to reach.'
How to do the workout:
Try to do each move continuously for 30 seconds, resting for 30 seconds before moving on to the next. Aim to complete three rounds in 20 minutes.
1. Abdominal Tuck
Targets: Abs, obliques, glutes
a) Start in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and the tops of your feet resting on the roller. You want to be in a straight line from head to toe.
b) Squeezing your glutes, roll the foam roller forward to tuck your knees in close to your elbows. Bring the knees in as far as you can without the arms buckling/ Then push back out to the starting position and repeat. Keep those arms strong.
2. Criss-Cross Plank
Targets: Abs, glutes
a) Start in a wide-legged high plank position with the roller under your chest, hand either side of it. Place both hands on the roller, one above the other. This is your starting position.
b) Place your left hand on the floor, then bring it back up on to the roller.
c) Place your right hand on the floor, then back to the roller. Continue alternating hands. Keep your core engaged throughout and squeeze your bum to keep your hips stable.
3. Lift and Lower
Targets: abs, obliques
a) Start by lying with the foam roller along your spine. Keep your head up, back flat on the roller and arms out to the side to help you balance. Slowly lift your legs, so your toes point to the ceiling.
b) Squeezing your inner thighs together, slowly lower your legs as low as you can, keeping your lower back on the roller. Bring them back up straight and repeat.
4. Toe Taps
Targets: pelvic stability
a) Lie on the foam roller with your spine and bottom touching it, with your arms supporting you at each side. To avoid straining your neck, tuck your chin in. Bring your legs to a 90-degree angle, keeping your spine on the roller.
b) Reach your right leg out and down to the floor, toe pointed. Bring your foot back up and repeat with the left foot.
5. Glute bridge
Targets: glutes, hamstrings
a) Lie on your back, palms down, foam roller under your ankles. Slowly, squeezing glutes and engaging your core, raise your hips so they are now in line with your knees and heels.
b) Now steadily, rock the foam roller towards your bum, bending at the knees. Push back out to the starting position and repeat, keeping your hips off the floor throughout.
This article originally appeared on Runner's World UK.