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4 Cool Down Foam Rolling Stretching Exercises

4 of my favorite cool down foam rolling exercises

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing a 4 of my favorite cool down foam rolling stretching exercises.

But the question is, are you doing a cool down stretch after every single one of your workouts?

Based on what I see in the gym, a good portion of the population does not follow a cool down stretching routine.

I’ve received many requests from our Live Lean TV viewers, to show my stretching routine.

It seems many people are confused about how to properly stretch and cool down after a workout.

A big part of my post workout stretching routine uses a foam roller.

So rather than showing you a workout today, here are 4 foam rolling stretching exercises that I use after my workouts, as part of my cool down.

If you’ve never heard of a foam roller before, it’s a self-myofasial release tool to massage and loosen up tight trigger points.

I’ll explain how to use a foam roller in just a bit.

In the beginning, I neglected my flexibility and mobility

But first, I have to admit, even though flexibility is a major component of overall health, during my early journey, I did not prioritize my mobility or stretching.

I was very strategic with my resistance training workouts, my HIIT cardio workouts, and my meal planning, but my mobility and stretching took a back seat.

Even at the time of filming this video, I was not as consistent with stretching, as I am today.

For example, today I incorporate structured mobility and stretching routines after all of my workouts.

We’ve also created a follow along, Live Lean Yoga video course, with international Yogi instructor, Desiree Rumbaugh.

Live Lean Yoga

Today mobility and flexibility is a big priority of mine

Especially since I train legs very hard during my workouts and sports.

Legs are one of the body parts that I really hammer away at.

This means I am tightest in my hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips, and lower back.

When you consistently train with intensity, especially your major muscle groups like your legs, your body tightens up.

Based on my personal needs, these 4 foam rolling stretching exercises help me loosen up the tight areas in my hips, quadriceps, glutes, and lower back.

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How to use a foam roller

I highly recommend you use a foam roller as it can help loosen up most areas of the body.

Every gym should have foam rollers, so start using them.

If you train at home, foam rollers are very affordable to buy online.

Here’s a link to foam roller that I recommend.

Although foam rolling is more well know now, I remember when I first started using them in the gym.

While doing these foam rolling stretching exercises, people would ask me if I was doing a core workout.

I guess you could say you get a slight core workout, but foam rolling is primarily used for self myofascial release (SMR).

This helps loosen up muscles that you’re targeting day after day in the gym.

Even if you don’t workout, if you’re sitting a lot throughout the day, the foam roller should be incorporated into your personal care routine.

As the name implies, the foam roller essentially rolls back and forth over your body.

What are trigger points?

However, rather than just mindlessly rolling back and forth, it’s important to find points in your body that are very tight.

As you foam roll up and down your outer thigh a couple times, you’ll begin to feel tight knots in certain areas that are painful.

These are often referred to as trigger points.

Once you feel a tight and painful sensation in the muscle, this is when you slow down, and even stop rolling, as you apply pressure directly on top of those trigger points.

As you are applying pressure, focus on breathing through the discomfort, as the trigger point begins to release.

Depending on the severity of the knot, it may take from 30 to 60 seconds to loosen up and release.

4 cool down foam rolling stretching exercises

Here’s how to complete these 4 cool down foam rolling stretching exercises during your cool down:

Total time:

5 minutes.

Type of workout:

Cool down after your workout, completed in circuit format.

Number of circuits:

2-3 circuits.


20-60 seconds.


Move from one foam rolling stretching exercise to the next with no rest.


Click the links below for a step-by-step exercise demonstration of each exercise.

A1. Foam Roller IT Band (Outer Thigh) Massage

Reps: 20-60 seconds/leg

Rest: No rest

Foam Roller IT Band (Outer Thigh) Massage

Coaching cues: the foam roller IT band (outer thigh) massage is one foam rolling exercise that I love doing, as it helps loosen up the IT band. But, I’ll be real with you. The discomfort is not pleasurable. However, this will help reduce tightness and injury proof your body.

A2. Foam Roller Quadriceps Massage

Reps: 20-60 seconds/leg

Rest: No rest

Foam Roller Quadriceps Massage

Coaching cues: another foam rolling exercise I like to do is for the front side of the thighs, the quadriceps. Since I’m tight, I work on finding the trigger points in my quadriceps, then hold it in place, as I think positive thoughts to overcome the discomfort. Then I flip over and foam roll my hamstrings.

A3. Foam Roller Hamstring Massage

Reps: 20-60 seconds/leg

Rest: No rest

Foam Roller Hamstring Massage

Coaching cues: to apply more pressure and speed up the loosening of the trigger points, I prefer to lift one leg, or cross one leg on top of the other. This will help you foam roll each hamstring independently. If it becomes too intense, you can place both hamstrings on the foam roller at the same time, or plant one foot into the ground to relieve some of the tension.

A4. Foam Roller Upper Back Massage

Reps: 20-60 seconds

Rest: No rest

Foam Roller Upper Back Massage

Coaching cues: Next up is one of my favorite foam rolling exercises for the back. To intensify it, raise your hands over your head, then roll it over your middle and upper back. Don’t forget to breath. By foam rolling the upper back, it feels like a massage. Massages are one of my favorite things in the world, but of course they can get expensive if you get them every day. This is another benefit of owning a foam roller, as you can give yourself a massage whenever you want one.

If you want more foam rolling exercises, here’s one for your glutes and piriformis, as well as a foam rolling exercise for your calves.

Remember, find your trigger points, hold the pressure on them for 20 to 60 seconds to release the tightness, then move on to other types of stretches.

What about static stretching during your cool down?

Another cool down stretch, that does not require a foam roller, is the pigeon pose (I called it the runner’s stretch in the video).

This type of stretch is what we call a static stretching.

I’ve talked about dynamic stretching as the preferred method for your warm up and static stretching after your workouts.

Therefore the pigeon pose would be an excellent static stretch after your workout for most people, as they tend to be very tight in the lower body, especially the hips and glutes.

B1. Pigeon Pose

Reps: 20-60 seconds/leg

Rest: No rest

Pigeon pose

Coaching cues: Bend your front leg with your foot pointing out. As you bend your torso forward, you’ll feel an incredible stretch all through your hips, glutes, and hamstrings. Hold the pigeon pose stretch for 20-60 seconds. After the time is up, shake it out, then switch legs and repeat for another 30 seconds. Repeat for a total of 2-3 sets.

So there you have it

This was a closer look at my cool down and foam rolling stretching exercises, after my workout routine.

However, if I’m training a specific body part, like my chest, triceps, or shoulders, I’ll usually complete a specific stretching routine, based on the muscle group that I trained.

I recommend you start using the foam roller at your fitness center, or use this link to get an awesome foam roller like the one I’ve used.

Then simply add these foam rolling stretching exercises to your cool down routine.

You won’t regret it, except for the discomfort and pain you’re gonna feel.

But pain, in this circumstance, is good, as it’s going to help you increase your flexibility, injury proof your body, and improve your overall health.

Remember, Living Lean is not just about looking good, it’s also about having flexibility, mobility, and feeling well too.

If you enjoyed these foam rolling stretching exercises, click the social media buttons to share them with your friends and subscribe to our Live Lean TV YouTube channel.

Just like this post was inspired by a viewer’s question, your comments give me the insights needed to deliver the content you want to see.

So please leave a comment below to let me know what you’d like to see on future posts.

Also, make sure you tune in tomorrow because I’ll be back with a Healthy Spices vs Unhealthy Spices episode, from one of my favorite series, Food Wars.

If you’re looking for a quick workout, check out our fat burning 4 minute tabata workouts here.

I know you’ll love it too.

See you then.

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15 responses to “4 Cool Down Foam Rolling Stretching Exercises

  1. My foam roller is my best friend! I even have a little travel one that I can take with me on the road. Another good use for it? As a chest and front deltoid opener. Lie on top of the roller, with it placed directly (and aligned with) your spinal cord. Open arms up to the side as you lift your chest skyward. Go slow, particularly if your shoulders are tight. Pure bliss!

    And I really don’t get the ‘Canadian accent’ thing. I’m Canadian too and there’s no way that I have an accent!

  2. The foam roller is…ahh…terrible. I love it, but I hate how much it can hurt! (I admit, though, I never thought to hold it for 30 over the points in which it’s more painful.)

    By the way, meant to say before that I love your accent. I have a blast listening to all the FFA’s and how they speak. 🙂

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