How many of us have a foam roller that’s been gathering dust in the corner of our bedroom? It’s by far one of the most versatile workout tools, yet it remains one of the most underused. Its shape allows us to do a variety of things, from massaging out muscle kinks to promoting flexibility, but what we enjoy using it for most is a low-key yet effective workout just about anywhere. The biggest benefit of incorporating a foam roller into your weekly routine is that it forces you to use your own body weight as a strengthener, rather than relying on heavy machinery in the gym.
No one knows this better than renowned celebrity fitness expert Nicole Winhoffer. Her famous “NW” method requires high-energy, repetitive movement, and a foam roller is the one tool that doesn’t hinder this philosophy when incorporated into a workout. Ahead, she shares four quick-pace moves that can be done for the duration of a three-to-four-minute song, respectively. And don’t forget to hydrate!
“A lot of people don’t know that you lose salts and minerals when you’re sweating. And electrolytes and minerals are really important to keeping your body balanced,” says Winhoffer. “I suggest taking something like Propel Electrolyte Water, which replenishes after you sweat. I also suggest that in the morning, the first thing you do is take 10 gulps of water and think of all the things you’re grateful for. Train your mind the way you train your body.”
Hold the foam roller on either side with arms extended straight in front of your chest. Then you’re going to bend your knees so you’re in a squatted position. Next, rotate the foam roller from right to left, so your hands are positioned vertically. This move is good for is the abs, arms and inner thighs.
Stand straight and grip the foam roller behind you. Palms should be facing down. That opens up the back, to counteract all the hours that we spend hunched over at a computer or our phones. You’re also opening your chest, and you can feel your neck again. Lift the arms back and up in a pulsating movement. You can also go right and left.
Position yourself on the floor as if you’re preparing to crawl. Both hands should be parallel to each other and slightly in front of you. Take the foam roller and cuff it between the calf and hamstring. Lift the leg back and up, pulsing up and down. This move is all about stability and balance.
Sit down on the floor with legs spread hip-width apart. Place the foam roller between the feet. Lean back into your arms, with elbows pointed back. Squeeze and engage inner thighs (and Kegels!) as you extend the legs straight and bend to pull them back in. Continue to do this at a slightly higher speed.