Foam rolling is a really popular method of warming up and for good reason. It puts targeted pressure on your fascia, releasing trigger points where you’re tight or feeling pain. It’s a great tool to not only loosen up your muscles, but also to help prevent injury. If you have tight hamstrings, foam rolling them directly can definitely help, but if you want to really loosen them up, the answer is actually in your feet.
There’s a network of connective tissue that runs from the soles of your feet, through your hamstrings, and up your back. So by loosening up the tissues in your feet, it will actually loosen up the rest of the tissue, too! Not just your feet, but also in your hamstrings and lower back. I’m not going to get all scientific on you- I’ll let the proof speak for itself. Try this exercise and it will absolutely blow your mind. Test your flexibility, roll your feet out, and then see just how big of a difference it makes. It’s insane!
If you’ve never done this before, it’s going to feel really weird and likely hurt. But power through the pain to the best of your ability. It gets easier the more you do it. For me personally, it has started to feel really good and I can really notice the difference in my hamstrings right away. I use a lacrosse ball and it works wonders. This is especially useful to do before squats if you have poor flexibility (or a nagging hamstring injury, which I’ve also dealt with). Let me know if you’ve tried this before, and if you haven’t then you need to go give it a shot and let me know what you think!