If you want to relieve muscle tension or prevent injuries, a cylinder made of compressed foam or plastic (also known as a roller) may just be your best bet, according to fitness experts.

To work on your lower back, place the roller on the floor and position the problem area on it. Bend your arms and legs and press your elbows and feet into the ground while lifting your butt off the floor. Then move your body forward and backward so the roller moves along your back.

For a foot massage after a long day, stand and rest the arch of one foot on the roller. Apply gentle pressure by leaning forward. Next, push down and slowly roll your foot back and forth on the roller’s surface.

The roller can also give your triceps a good workout. Lie on the side of the arm you’ll be working first. Place the roller under your armpit, and raise your arm overhead. Move your body so the roller moves back and forth along the underside of your arm. Pause at any tender spots before rolling back and repeating.