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Houston trainer shares 5 foam rolling exercises you need to do to increase flexibility

Skip the post-workout stretching for some fun foam roller moves

HOUSTON – When doing a workout routine, some people focus only on their exercises, but their recovery process is as important.

According to Shane O'Connor, personal training team development manager at Life Time, simple exercises using a foam roller can help in recovery of muscles that are prone to being overactive.

“It’s used with athletes and physical therapists all over the world. And there’s three main things we want to get out of it," said O’Connor, who stopped by our studio to show us five foam rolling moves to get you slowly rolling until you increase flexibility. " First we want to reduce some muscle soreness and increase recovery. We do that by softening a tissue called fascia, which wraps your muscle. We want to increase range of motion as well as flexibility and basically, overall it will help to decrease soreness post-exercise, so you can get back in the gym and keep rolling."

“Even if you are doing these, one to two sets, a minute to a minute and a half is all you need post-workout,” he said.

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1. CALVES: Sit on the floor with your legs straight out, hands on the floor behind you supporting your weight. Place the foam roller under your calves. Slowly roll along the back of your legs up and down from your knees to your ankles.

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2. GLUTES: Sitting on the roller, cross your right leg over your left knee and lean toward the right hip, putting your weight on your hands for support. Slowly roll your glute over the roller. Switch sides.

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3. QUADS: Lie face down on the floor and place the roller under your hips. Lean on your right leg and roll up and down from your hip to your knee. Switch legs.

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4. BACK: Tighten your abs and slowly bend your knees to move the roller up your back, just below your shoulder blades.

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5. SHOULDERS AND SIDES: Lie on your back with the roller behind your shoulders. Lace your fingers loosely behind your head and lean your upper back into the roller. Brace your abs and glutes for stability, and slowly press into the roller on your left side, raising your right shoulder. Roll from your underarms to the bottom of your rib cage. Return to the center and switch sides.

Foam rollers are affordable and you can purchase them at sporting goods stores or major retailers.

To see O’Connor’s complete interview, watch the video above.