Makeshift Foam Rolling

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I've had a running issue for several weeks with my left calf (upper and outside) getting tight after runs and it can lead to injury. I've done some strength work around the upper and lower leg along with regular flexibility work but I decided to try foam rolling today. I've seen lots of people doing it in the gym and various workout channels demonstrate it from time to time.

The problem is I don't own a foam roller.

But I do own a Blue Flexbar which is made of rubber and it's round. It's a lot smaller than a foam roller but why not? So I tried it and it did make things feel better. I was looking around for something else that I could use and then it struck me that this is a tennis forum.

I could use tennis balls for foam rolling.

I should probably order a foam roller though.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Pvc pipe 3 or 4 inch diameter works great if you can stand the pain. You can get precut 2 foot lengths at Home Depot.

If you have to have a real foam roller, be sure to buy a firm one. The soft ones don't do anything.
 
An old fashioned rolling pin [for dough] works but will hurt a lot more.

A baseball bat.

A basketball.

A lacrosse ball.

Just get the foam roller already!
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
An old fashioned rolling pin [for dough] works but will hurt a lot more.

A baseball bat.

A basketball.

A lacrosse ball.

Just get the foam roller already!
The Flexbar Blue actually works quite well. I only need it on the outside calf on one leg.

Going with the tennis theme - I'm thinking of a piece of PVC pipe wrapped in several Wilson Pro Overgrips (I have a very large number of these), or old leather grips.
 

nochuola

Rookie
The calf is actually one of a few body parts that you can "foam roll" without a foam roller. There is a exercise/maneuver called "bone saw" that you can do. Basically, you cross your other leg behind your tight leg and just sit on it (sandwich your other leg with your tight leg's calf and hamstring), essentially using your own leg as a foam roller. You can also use the flexbar the same way, although I'm not sure if it has a large enough diameter.

In general, a foam roller can be anything with a pretty large diameter, can support your body weight, firm, and usually has a soft surface. Tennis ball, baseball, and especially lacrosse ball are popular choices. Also, anything cylindrical wrapped in towel can be good substitutes.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The calf is actually one of a few body parts that you can "foam roll" without a foam roller. There is a exercise/maneuver called "bone saw" that you can do. Basically, you cross your other leg behind your tight leg and just sit on it (sandwich your other leg with your tight leg's calf and hamstring), essentially using your own leg as a foam roller. You can also use the flexbar the same way, although I'm not sure if it has a large enough diameter.

In general, a foam roller can be anything with a pretty large diameter, can support your body weight, firm, and usually has a soft surface. Tennis ball, baseball, and especially lacrosse ball are popular choices. Also, anything cylindrical wrapped in towel can be good substitutes.
I have the Blue and Green Flexbar and the blue one was big enough. It was just sitting on my desk as I use it regularly for my arm.
 

atatu

Legend
Honestly, I'd just order a foam roller, they aren't exactly expensive ? You can usually find them at goodwill or on craigslist also.
 
The Flexbar is actually not bad to roll your calves, a normal foam roller just doesn't work the calves enough. But the best thing for your calves is just a lacrosse ball. This is best done on top of a hard foam brick, I'd refer you to YT for details.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The Flexbar works nicely for the calf and hips. It's useless for hamstrings and probably for the back and other parts where you want something larger. I just wanted something immediately so that I could go outside to run after using it. There is considerable variety in foam roller products out there as well. I'm sure that there are pros and cons to the various designs.
 
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