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Pilates with the Foam Roller

  • November 9, 2016
  • By Brittany
  • 2 Comments
Pilates with the Foam Roller

Hello and good morning!  Have you survived the election craze?   Well, if you are tired of talking politics, let’s talk about something else shall we?  Today I want to share with you part 2 of my foam roller series.  In the last post, we talked about all of the benefits of foam rolling and I shared with you my favorite foam roller stretches!

Today I want to talk about using the foam roller as a prop for strength training.  The foam roller is often overlooked for its strength and toning benefits but that is a huge mistake.  This little thing can pack a big punch!  Here are a few of the benefits you can get by incorporating a foam roller into your strength routine:

  • It is an unstable surface requiring you to engage your core in a major way no matter how you are using it.
  • It is versatile.  You can use it standing up for balance, lying down for instability, holding it for resistance and so much more!
  • It can provide elevation to help you get a deeper range of motion and a more effective and challenging exercise.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate the foam roller is to use it as part of my pilates routine.  The foam roller is a natural addition to a pilates class because it mimics a lot of the larger apparatus in its creation of instability and its ability to move with you and create resistance.  Here are my favorite moves from pilates with the foam roller!

Single Knee Lift

PIlates with the Foam Roller-single knee lift

Start by lying on the foam roller with the roller supporting your neck.  Keep your spine in neutral alignment.  Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat and lift your arms up overhead.  Pull your abs in and maintain a neutral spine as you lift one foot to tabletop.  Lower it back down to the floor and lift the other foot.  Continue alternating for 12 reps.

Prancing

Pilates with Foam Roller-Prancing

Start in the same position as Single Knee Lift but rest your hands down on the floor for more support.  Lift both feet into a tabletop position.  Lower one toe towards the floor then lift it back up and switch the other toe to the floor.  Keep alternating, prancing the legs, for 16 reps.

Crunch

Pilates with Foam Roller-Crunch

Start in the same position as Single Knee Lift with hands overhead.  Lower your hands down towards your sides as you lift the head, neck and shoulders off the roller coming into a crunch position, pulling the abs in.  Lower down and repeat 12x.

Bridge Lift

Pilates with Foam Roller-Bridge

Lie on the floor with your feet on the foam roller and your knees bent, hands down by your sides.  Tuck your pelvis, pull your abs in and lift your pelvis and hips off the mat to a bridge position, squeezing your glutes.  Maintain for one count then lower down one vertebrae at a time.  Repeat 8x.  

Bridge Extension

Pilates with Foam Roller-Bridge Extension

From the Bridge position, extend your legs out straight keeping your seat and hips lifted.  Bend your knees and draw your feet back in to the Bridge position.  Repeat 8x.

Rollup

PIlates with Foam Roller-Rollup

PIlates with Foam Roller-Rollup 2

Lie down on the mat with your hands overhead, your legs straight and your ankles resting on the foam roller.  Tuck your chin and lift the arms up, rolling yourself up to a seated position, keeping the legs and the roller as still as possible.  When you are seated, reach your arms forward towards your feet for a rollup stretch.  Then return to seated and roll down one vertebrae at a time.  Repeat 6x.

C Curve

Pilates with Foam Roller-C Curve

Start seated on the foam roller with your feet flat on the mat.  Sit up straight and extend your arms in front of you.  Tuck your chin, round your spin and curve your pelvis as you rollback to your “catching” point (where you feel the abs engage but not all the way down).  Inhale and roll back up to start.  Repeat 8x.

C Curve with Oblique Twist

Pilates with Foam Roller-C Curve Obliques

Start in a C Curve position.  This time as you rollback, open one arm out to the side, looking in that direction to work the obliques.  Rollback up to start and repeat with the opposite arm.  Continue alternating side for 8 reps.

Scapular Squeeze

Pilates with Foam Roller- Scapular Squeeze

Start seated on the mat holding the foam roller out in front of you with your arms straight.  Bend your elbows pulling the roller in towards your body and squeezing the shoulder blades together.  Extend the roller back out.  Repeat 12x.

Straight Arm Lift

Pilates with Foam Roller-Straight Arm Lift

Start seated on the mat with a straight spine.  Hold the roller on either side and keep your arms straight.  Lower the roller to the mat keeping your arms straight and then lift the roller up to shoulder height.  Repeat lifting and lowering the roller for 12 reps.

Overhead Extension

Pilates with Foam Roller-Overhead Stretch

Start in the same position as Straight Arm Lift.  This time lift the roller up overhead keeping your shoulders down.  Lower the roller back to shoulder height.  Continue lifting the roller and lowering the roller for 12 reps.

Reverse Tabletop

Pilates with Foam Roller-Reverse Tabletop

Start seated on the mat with hands on the roller, fingertips pointing forward.  Your feet should be flat and your knees bent.  Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up to knee height to a reverse tabletop position.  Lower back down to the mat.  Repeat 8x.

Side Plank

Pilates with Foam Roller-Side Plank

Start lying on your side on the mat with your feet on the roller.  The top foot should be crossed in front and the bottom foot should be crossed in back.  Your knees and toes should be facing side.  Place your forearm down on the mat with your fingertips pointing forward.  Lift your hips off the mat coming into a side plank and lifting your top arm to the sky.  Repeat 4x then switch sides and repeat.

Swan

Pilates with Foam Roller-Swan

Start lying prone on the mat with your hands on the roller and legs extended straight and slightly open behind you.  In four counts, lift the head, neck and shoulders off the mat keeping your hands on the roller and allowing it to roll towards you as you keep your arms straight.  Lower back down in four counts until your forehead touches the mat.  Repeat 4x.

I use the TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller and I really love it!  Especially the pink color and the durability.  You can get one on Amazon.*

foam-roller

*This link contains an affiliate link.  Thank you for your support!

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By Brittany, November 9, 2016
  • 2
2 Comments
  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    November 10, 2016

    Love using my foam roller, and love these exercise ideas!

    Girl, you can’t escape the election in America this week…. it’s everywhereeeee I look. I just took a cycling class, and the instructor played Rihanna’s “American Oxygen” and touched on the election during class. It’s so depressing!

  • Holly
    November 15, 2016

    No doubt about it! The foam roller feels so good on my muscles😊😀

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