Foam Roll Core for Low Back and Core Stability
The first time I saw these series of exercises was in Spring Training of 2014 when my mentor, Matt Krause, started with the Yankees. Catcher, Brian McCann came in and stated his low back felt “a bit off”. Matt instructed him to lay lengthwise on a foam roller with his head and low back supported and feet flat on the floor. Matt then coaches Brian through a series of progressions using the foam roller to primarily activate his core. I observed this series as Brian went from only lifting a single leg to eventually completing a full dead bug all while maintaining proper positioning on the foam roller. When Brian stood up he was amazed at how good his back felt and thanked Matt and went on with his day.
From that moment I realized that a foam roller was more than just a self myofascial release tool.
“Nothing is original, so embrace influence, school yourself through the work of others, remix and reimagine to discover your own path.”- S. Davies
The progression I learned has been modified throughout the years. I have implemented this exercise with hundreds of athletes in both a rehabilitation/reconditioning setting and as a way of training and maintaining proper pelvic stability with healthy individuals.
Below is my go to progression for what I call Foam Roll Core.
1. Basic Position – Feet flat on the floor, hands on the floor palms up.
2. No arm support – Feet flat on the floor, hands crossed over chest.
3. Heel Lifts with no arm support – lifting each heel up off the floor by a few inches for a prescribed amount of time while maintaining your lumbar stability on the foam roller.
4. Marching no arm support – alternating heel lifts while maintaining your lumbar stability on the foam roller. This is done for a prescribed amount of time.
5. Cross body tension – opposite hand on opposite knee, push the hand and pull the knee to create tension while maintaining your lumbar stability on the foam roller. This is done for a prescribed amount of time.
6. Foam Roll Dead Bug – extending opposite arm and leg in the opposite direction while maintaining lumbar stability on the foam roller. This is done for a prescribed amount of time.