5-Minute Cardio Workout Using a Foam Roller

5-Minute Cardio Workout Using a Foam Roller

Foam rollers are an essential piece of fitness equipment that can be a paired with cardio training exercises to help you break a sweat and feel an extra burn.

Published: March 1, 2022

Topics: Strength & Conditioning, Training

Author: Aaron Swenson

One of the best tools, and most affordable pieces of equipment you can invest in for your home gym is a foam roller. It’s not all punches and kicks for boxers and kickboxers. You need to let your body rest from intense training, and a quick and easy recovery day foam rolling workout is just the ticket.

But today FightCamp Trainer Aaron Swenson isn't walking you through the traditional foam rolling routine, but rather a 5 minute HIIT workout, using the foam roller to enhance the difficulty of each movement. Don't worry, there are modifications to make sure you understand the movements before going all out!

Note: Any size foam roller will work for this routine, however a slightly shorter roller will be easier to use and move around with.

Warm-Up (5 minutes)

FightCamp Dynamic Warm-Ups

Even though this is a simple and short foam roller workout, it is still beneficial to properly warm up to make sure you don’t injure yourself. Check out the FightCamp App for a quick 5-minute dynamic warm-up to get you loose!

Foam Roller Cardio Routine (5 minutes)

After your warm-up, grab your foam roller and get started!

High Plank + Leg Curl Ups (40 seconds)

High Plank + Leg Curl Ups with a Foam Roller
  • Place the foam roller on the ground perpendicular to your body

  • Come into a high plank position

  • Carefully place your legs on top of the foam roller, mid-shin

  • Slowly “curl” your legs up towards your chest, performing a knee tuck then slowly extending your legs back to the full plank extension

    • As you curl your legs, the foam roller will naturally roll up and down along your shins

  • Repeat this movement for 40 seconds

Key Focus Points:

  • Keep your hands underneath your shoulders

  • Maintain a slight tension in your triceps

  • Draw your belly button towards your spine to keep your core engaged

  • Keep your breath slow and controlled

Added Challenge: Try and keep your legs straight throughout the roll outs performing a pike instead of a knee tuck.

Rest (20 seconds)

Push-Up Pass (40 seconds)

Push-Up Pass with a Foam Roller
  • Place the foam roller on the ground parallel to your body

  • Come into a high plank position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width for added stability and balance

  • Carefully balance and place your right hand on top of the foam roller

  • Perform a push-up

  • Gently pass/roll the foam roller to your left hand and carefully balance on top of it

  • Perform another push-up

  • Repeat these steps for 40 seconds

Modification: If regular push-ups are too difficult, you can perform knee push-ups until you build up enough strength.

Rest (20 seconds)

Glute Bridge (40 seconds)

Glute Bridges with a Foam Roller
  • Start by laying on your back on the ground, with your arms out to your sides for balance, feet flat on the floor, and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle

  • Place the foam roller underneath your feet

  • Perform a glute bridge raise by lifting your hips towards the sky, squeezing your glutes

  • Hold for a second count

  • Slowly lower your hips and glutes back down to the ground

  • Repeat for 40 seconds

Added Challenge: Perform single leg glute bridge raises for 20 seconds on each leg.

Rest (20 seconds)

Reverse Lunge + Twist (40 seconds)

Reverse Lunge + Twists with a Foam Roller
  • Assume a tall, upright position

  • Hold the foam roller at the ends at chest height

  • Perform a right leg reverse lunge by stepping backwards with your left leg and just touching your knee to the ground

  • Briefly hold this position as you twist your upper body to your right and then back to center

  • Step your left leg back to the starting position

  • Repeat on the opposite side

  • Continue this lunge and twist movement, alternating sides for 40 seconds

Added Challenge: Instead of twisting, perform jump-switch lunges.

Rest (20 seconds)

Tuck Jump + Burpee (40 seconds)

Tuck Jump + Burpee with a Foam Roller
  • Assume a tall, upright position

  • Stand next to your foam roller

  • Perform a tuck jump, laterally, over the foam roller

    • Try to touch your knees to your chest

    • For each jump focus on landing softly and quietly

  • Immediately upon landing perform a burpee

  • Continue jumping laterally side-to-side over the foam roller for the remaining 40 seconds

Modification: If you don’t feel comfortable clearing your foam roller, you can stand behind it and perform the lateral tuck jumps, using the roller as a guide. Alternatively, you can also step over the foam roller.

Rest (20 seconds)

Recovery (10-30 seconds)

Foam Roller Workout Recovery
  • Stand in a tall, upright position

  • Place your hands behind your head

  • Breathe slowly and in a controlled manner for 10-30 seconds, pausing between each inhalation and exhalation

Keep On Rollin'

And that’s it–a quick 5-minute workout using a foam roller. The foam roller is a simple piece of equipment that you can use to warm-up, workout, and recover, wherever you are!

Are you ready to train like a fighter? Get access to hundreds of boxing, kickboxing, strength, conditioning, recovery, and stretching workouts that will push you mentally and physically. Download the FREE FightCamp App and train with real fighters from the comfort of your own home.

Aaron Swenson

Aaron “Speedy” Swenson began in his family’s Chicago dojo. By 2013, Aaron had two National Kickboxing titles & a USA National Kickboxing Team spot. Aaron is a Founding Coach at FightCamp & USA Boxing Coach certified.

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