Foam Roll Exercises for Knee Pain

Are you suffering from knee pain during or after exercise? Don’t worry, I know the feeling. That’s why I wanted to share with you some of my favorite foam roll exercises for knee pain.

You’re probably familiar with foam rolling, given how popular it’s become recently. But if not, foam rolling is a technique that is used to reduce trigger points in the muscles, or muscle tightness. It’s commonly used as an alternative to deep tissue massage.

When you’re performing foam rolling exercises, you should never foam roll directly over any major joints, including the knees.

How can foam roll exercises help knee pain?

Your quadriceps and hamstrings are muscles that are responsible for movements of your knee.

  • Quadriceps – extend the knee joint
  • Hamstrings – flex the knee joint

By performing foam rolling on the muscles that move the knees, you can help maintain flexibility and proper alignment of the joints, thus helping to avoid knee pain.

Best Foam Roller For Beginners

If you’re just getting started with foam rolling, it’s important that you choose a beginner friendly foam roller. You should choose a foam roller that is on the softer side, that provides a moderate intensity.

I will warn you, foam rolling can be quite painful (but in a good way!) so you definitely don’t want to be using the wrong foam roller. I always recommend this foam roller for beginners.

Foam Rolling Important Tips

Before you start foam rolling, it’s important to remember the following tips:

  • Never roll directly over a joint
  • Always keep the muscle you’re targeting in contact with the foam roller
  • Avoid placing excess pressure on the supporting parts of the body, like the hands and wrists
  • It’s better to do frequent, short foam rolling sessions rather than long, infrequent sessions

Foam Roll Exercises for Knee Pain


The first movement I’m going to go over will be targeting your quadriceps, the muscle (or muscles) that extend the knee.

You’ll want to perform each movement 5 times, for a total of 3 sets.

  • Get into a kneeling position on the floor. Be sure to place a padded yoga mat underneath you.
  • With the foam roller in front of your body, lean forward and place the foam roller underneath the top of your thighs.
  • Reach forward slightly, then place your forearms on the ground with your elbows slightly bent.
  • Using your shoulders to move, pull your body over the foam roller. The foam roller should roll over your quadriceps, starting at your upper thigh and rolling to just above your knee joint.
  • Do not roll the foam roller over your knee joint.
  • Now reverse the movement, rolling the foam roller up your thigh.


Next up is the hamstrings, which are responsible for flexing the knee.

Again, perform each movement 5 times, for a total of 3 sets.

  • Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the foam roller underneath your butt.
  • Place your hands directly behind you with your arms extended. Make sure not to place too much pressure on the wrists.
  • Extend your legs out, lifting your feet and butt off the floor.
  • Roll the foam roller down the back of your legs until just before the knee, then roll back up.

So there you go, these are the two foam roll exercises for knee pain that I perform daily. These two foam roll exercises will help to release trigger points in the hamstrings and quadriceps, which in turn will help to avoid knee pain!

How to avoid knee pain with foam roll exercises

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Hi I'm Ashli. I'm work-at-home mom of one who loves being outdoors, reading, running, exploring Japan (where I currently live) and teaching other moms how to make money online.

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