Release Your Hamstrings with the Foam Roller

pilates hamstring release on the foam rollerPreviously, we’ve discussed using the foam roller to open up the hamstrings. We’ve also discussed how the phrase “Pilates exercise” tends to imply significant ab work. Thus, when you practice the Pilates version of a hamstring release on the foam roller, you get a heck of an upper body and ab workout. Here’s yet another new way to challenge your core with the foam roller.

Release Your Hamstrings

  1. You can breathe regularly as you practice this exercise. Or, if you want to make this muscle release exercise more Pilates-esque, practice Pilates breathing as you inhale and exhale.
  2. Take a seat on top of your foam roller so that you will be able to roll back and forth. Make sure your legs are parallel and together. Sit so that you’re just past your SITs bones.
  3. Lift through the top of your head and draw your belly button toward your spine. Allow your pelvis to tuck slightly as you do this.
  4. Hinge back so you can place your hands on the floor behind you. Make sure you leave some space between your hands and the foam roller. Point your fingers toward the roller.
  5. Inhale here.
  6. Pilates hamstring releaseExhale. Press into your hands, draw your belly button toward your spine, and roll the roller down the backs of your legs. Keep your bottom lifted up off the floor. Notice how you’re really working your arms and abs to get the roll to happen.
  7. Inhale to roll back to your starting position.
  8. Complete 5-10 reps.

Finding a Foam Roller

If you want to order a foam roller, I recommend the OPTP brand foam roller. Their foam rollers are firm and don’t dent or bend easily. It’s crucial for your foam roller to be firm and stay the same shape throughout its use.

Foam rollers are a great tool to elevate your Pilates mat work, but they’re also wonderful self-massage tools. Here’s a link to some foam roller stretches.

Release Your Hamstrings Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What do you think of this exercise? Do you feel your hamstrings release or do you just notice the arm and core work? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.