10 Best Foam Roller For Basketball Players & Athletes

foam roller for basketball players

Have you ever wondered why your body so sore 24-48 hours after your basketball game? Is your coach or trainer give your foam rolling exercise just for basketball players? If not, check our article for tips on the foam roller for basketball players to decrease soreness after your training.

Is The 10 Foam Rolling Exercises Below Only For Basketball Players?

No, these 10 foam rolling exercises are for anyone who is physically active, less active or a couch potato.  These rolling exercises are easy to follow and less complicated.

Besides foam rolling exercises, stretching is great to help you decrease tightness and injury prevention.

What Are The Benefit Of Foam Rolling?

  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Increase blood flow to the muscle which will increase recovery time
  • Decrease muscle tightness
  • Decrease myofascial knots (Trigger Point) build-up from overuse and microtrauma muscles
  • It can increase flexibility and increase the elasticity of muscle length
  • Injury prevention pre-and post-training.

It is more beneficial to add stretching with your foam rolling exercise to get the most benefit to losses your muscles. A tight muscle can help by stretching, but myofascial knots can’t get release unless you go for a massage or foam rolling.

Try to make foam rolling and stretch a second nature you do daily in the morning or after training,  Professional athletes foam roll too, so why don’t you foam roll since you will gain more than lose.

According to Pete McCall ACEfitness.org, “Foam rollers are an effective method of reducing tension and increasing muscle length for either a pre-workout warm-up or post-exercise active recovery”

Continue to find out our 10 foam roller for basketball players and athletes to increase flexibility and prevent injury.

You can check our article on the Foam Roller For Lower Back!

10 Best Foam Roller For Basketball Players

1. Foam Roll Upper Back

It is important to foam roll your upper back because we carry a lot of stress and load on our upper back from the intense training.  Tightness in the upper back will lead to poor upper back posture, and it will lead to unstable form during your shot in basketball ball.   This also applied to other sports too.

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Directions For Upper Back Foam Roll

  • Start: Begin by lying on your upper back on a foam roller place horizontally across your spine. Bend your knees and place both feet on the ground to help you with the roam rolling exercises.
  • You can cross your arms across your chest or on the side
  • Slowly roll down starting from the upper back close to your neck. Stop before your lower back (lumbar spine)
  • Brace your core muscles for stabilization.
  • You may hear popping sounds during your foam rolling, Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

2. Rhomboid Foam Rolling

Rhomboid muscles are small muscles between your shoulder blades. This is one of our favorites foam rollers for basketball players because the rhomboid muscle maintains your posture, and it will help you in shooting form.

Rhomboid Pain May Cause:

  • pain when breathing
  • decrease shoulder Range of motions
  • popping or grinding sounds during shoulder blades movements
  • tenderness in the upper back.

Directions For Rhomboid Foam Roll

  • Start: Begin with foam roller against the wall, lean back on the foam roller horizontally across your upper back.
  • Lean your weight toward the right side of your upper back. Bring your right arm across your front chest.
  • Slowly roll down from the top of the shoulder blade to the bottom of the shoulder blade.
  • Crossing your arm across your chest allows the shoulder blade to move out of place for you to foam roll your rhomboid muscle.
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots
  • Tips: You can use a lacrosse ball or tennis ball to roll your rhomboid.

3. Latissimus Dorsi (Lat) Foam Rolling Exercises

Lat is one of the largest muscles in your back which form a “V” shape from your lower back to your shoulder. It helps to control your shoulder by pulling down motions.  You want to make sure you take care of your lat to avoid trigger point knots from forming.

Latissimus Dorsi Pain May Cause:

  • Pain during breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tingling in the lower arm

Directions For Lat Foam Roll

  • Start: Begin by placing a foam roller on your left lat muscle (near your armpits). Next is lying your back with a 45-degree angle on the foam roller.
  • Slowly roll down from your left armpit to mid-back, then roll back up. Make sure you slowly roll your lat because lat foam rolling is very sensitive and tender.
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  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

4. Foam Roller For Quadriceps (Quads)

Quad is one of the major hip flexor muscles and one of the biggest muscles in your legs.

Quad Pain May Lead To:

  • Pain and difficulty when bending and extending your knees
  • sharp pain in running, jumping and kicking
  • Tightness in hip and thigh

Directions For Quads Foam Roll

  • Start: prone position with your forearm support, a foam roller is placed under your quad
  • Begin at the quad near your hip and slowly roll down toward your knee
  • Then you roll back up to where you started
  • You can go through the same path a few times if you find myofascial knots or sensitive spot along the path of your foam rolling
  • Tightening your core will help you maintain your balance while you foam roll your quad
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

5. Psoas (Iliopsoas) Foam Roll

Psoas or Iliopsoas muscle is a major hip flexor muscle that is buried deep under your abdominal muscle.  Now a day, you will expect everyone to have a tight hip flexor because prolong sitting will cause our hip flexor to tight.

Psoas Pain May Cause: 

  • Pain in hip and lower back
  • Tightness in hip and lower back
  • Clicking or popping sound in the groin or hip when the hip is moving in a flexion motion
  • Pain intensifies when the hip is in bending motion such as motion-related to walking, climbing stairs, squatting, and sitting.

Directions For Psoas Foam Roll

  • Start: prone position with your forearm support, a foam roller is placed under your right hip flexor. Bend your left leg slightly to allow you to foam roll the hip flexor which is a deep muscle in your hip.
  • Begin to slowly roll up and down your right hip flexor
  • The hip flexor is very sensitive because most of us have tight hip flexors due to our sitting habits.
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

6. Glutes Foam Roll

Glutes (gluteal) is a term for muscles in your buttock. You have 3 major muscles in each of your buttocks: gluteus Maximus, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius.  The function of the gluteal muscles is an extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation of the hip.

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Gluteal Pain May Cause:

  • Pain and tenderness in buttock
  • A weakness of gluteal muscles
  • Stiffness of gluteal muscles
  • Pain in the lower back

Directions For Glutes Foam Roll

  • Start: Begin by sitting on your right glutes (butt), your left glutes should not touch the foam roller.  Extend your left leg and bend your right knee to place the right foot on the floor to help you stabilize and foam rolling exercises.  Place your left hand behind your back for stabilization.
  • Slowly roll from glutes near your lower back down toward your tailbone. Slowly roll back up once you’re near your tailbone.
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots
  • Tips: Make sure your weight is on your right glutes throughout your foam rolling exercises.

7. Piriformis Foam Rolling

Piriformis is a deep muscle in your buttock. It is behind the gluteus maximus muscle. Piriformis help to lateral rotate the hip and abduct when the hip is in the flex position.  A common problem is piriformis pain syndrome which can be caused by injury or spasm to the muscle.  Nerve entrapment of the sciatic nerve can cause irritation to the sciatic nerve and result in sciatica.  Sciatica is known as radiating pain travel along the sciatic nerve (from buttock to posterior leg).

Piriformis Syndrome Cause:

  • Piriformis muscle spasm
  • Tightness in piriformis
  • Swelling to piriformis
  • May cause sciatica

Directions For Piriformis Foam Rolling

  • Start: Once again you begin by sitting on the right gluteus (butt), but this one is slightly different from previous foam rolling exercises. You place both arms behind your back to support your body to sit upright.  Cross your right leg across your left knee (figure 4)
  • Slowly roll up/down your buttock region.
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

8. Foam Roll Hamstrings

The hamstrings consist of 3 big muscles behind your thigh.  This muscle involved in hip extension and knee flexion.

Hamstring Pain May Cause:

  • Pain in the back of your thigh when you flex or extend your leg
  • Tightness in hamstring
  • Weakness in the leg during extension motion
  • Tenderness or swelling in your hamstring muscle

Directions For Hamstring Foam Roll

  • Start: Sitting on the floor with your left hamstring directly on top of the foam roller. Both of your arms are behind your back for support. Your body is not touching the floor during the foam rolling session.
  • You can have both legs extended or place the other foot on the floor to keep your balance when you move the foam roller
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  • Slowly move down toward the back of your knee and slowly roll back up toward your buttock.
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

9. Foam Roll Calf (Gastrosoleus)

Calf muscles are consist of two muscles, Gastrocnemius, and soleus.

Calf Pain May Cause:

  • Swelling
  • Weakness in the lower leg
  • Pain while walking
  • Painful after prolong standing
  • Pain also in lower back, thigh or buttock
  • May cause plantar fasciitis

Directions For Calf Foam Roll

  • Start: Sitting on the floor with both legs extended
  • Place foam roller under your left calf, cross your right leg over the left leg to apply pressure to the left calf as you foam roll.
  • Place both arms behind your back and lift your body off the floor so the weight is on your left calf
  • Slowly roll up and down the calf muscle
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

10. Tibialis Anterior (shins) Foam Rolling


Tibialis Anterior is a muscle located on the lateral side of your tibia (shin). This muscle involves dorsiflexing and inversion of your foot.  A common injury to this muscle is an ankle inversion sprain.

Tibialis Anterior Pain May Cause:

  • Shin Splint – caused by overuse of the muscles along your shin (tibialis anterior)
  • Pain in the shin during standing, walking or running
  • Weakness in foot dorsiflex and inversion
  • Pin and needles

Directions For Tibialis Anterior Foam Roll

  • Start: Begin by placing a foam roller on your shins. Slightly lean your body forward and place your hands on the ground for support.
  • Slowly roll down from your knee toward your feet and slowly roll back up.
  • Note: This area is very tender, especially for basketball players, runners.
  • Foam roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute
  • If a spot is too sensitive, you can hold in position on the sensitive spot for 10 to 20 seconds to release the myofascial knots

Summary

In this article, we go over the 10 best foam roller for basketball players.  If you want to prevent injury, increase flexibility, increase performance, increase explosiveness on the court, we recommended you perform the above foam roller for basketball exercise daily.  A maximum of 10-15 minutes daily will keep your body healthy and flexible.

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  5. Top Vertical Jump Program