Foam Roller Exercises For Back to Improve Pain & flexibility

Most of us have tension in our upper back, neck, and shoulders due to constant hunching over a computer at work, looking at our phones, and from sitting and driving. This constant slumping can create stiffness and tightness over time, not to mention postural imbalances. Incorporating some stretching into your routine is a good place to start, but a using a foam roller exercises for back pain are another great solution.

In recent years, foam roller has gone mainstream. Once a self-massage technique used only by professional athletes, coaches, and therapists; foam rolling is now an everyday practice for people at all levels of fitness. There’s a reason for the popularity of this self-massage technique: it’s simple, and it works!

What Is Foam Roller

A foam roller is a simple cylinder (usually made of foam or flexible plastic) that you can lay on in various positions, allowing your body weight to put focused pressure on affected muscle groups.

Rolling over problem areas can help release that built-up tension in your fascia and re-establish muscle tissue integrity (and optimal performance).

Foam Roller Uses

Foam roller exercises for back help reduce the risk of injuries, joint pain and improve your energy and movement capacity. Using a foam roller is a good way to loosen up muscles before a workout and reduce muscles soreness afterward. Try these foam rolling techniques to restore your sore muscles.

While doing foam rolling and with each pass through the muscle group, you can then work deeper into the tissue for more release. It is very possible to find several trigger points throughout your body. When you hit a spot that’s especially painful or tight, pause here and try to relax.

Foam Roller Exercises For Back Tips

  • It’s important not to roll over an area for too long, or you might experience bruising.
  • Try to identify your trigger point, and maintain constant pressure over the area for at least 10-30 seconds while slowly breathing, any discomfort or tenderness will gradually ease.
  • It’s always best to start light with a manageable amount of pressure and then slowly increase it as your body relaxes.
  • Slowly and specifically roll each targeted muscle for 1-2 minutes, but along with rest between sets.
  • Try to relax while foam rolling. This will reduce the possibility of cramps and injury.
  • Rolling out can do more harm than good when rolling over the wrong areas, such as your low back, and rolling directly over a joint or bone.
  • If an area is simply too painful to apply direct pressure, shift the roller and apply pressure on the surrounding area to gradually loosen the entire area.

Foam Roller Exercises For Back

To relieve pain and tightness in your back, do these exercises 3-4 times per week, even if your symptoms improve.

1. Upper Back Thoracic Spine (Roll)

Upper back Thoracic Spine foam roller
  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent, placing your hands behind the back of the head, with the foam roller just below your shoulder blades.
  2. Lift your hips off the ­floor and slowly push through your heels to move back and forth from your mid-back to the top of your shoulder blades.
  3. Keep your spine and head aligned in a neutral position.
  4. When you find a sore spot, stop and hold the position for at least 10-30 seconds until you can feel the muscle relax.

2. Upper Back Thoracic Spine (Hold and Stretch)

Upper back Thoracic Spine hold foam roller
  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent, placing your hands behind the back of the head, with the foam roller just below your shoulder blades.
  2. Keep your hips on the floor with your feet hip width apart. Slowly begin to fold backwards.
  3. Keep your hips on the floor, supporting your head. Begin gently to bend backwards over the roller.
  4. Stopping at a point where it feels comfortable. Return back to the starting position and repeat.

3. Upper Back (Thoracic Spine Cross Friction)

Upper back Thoracic Spine slide foam roller
  1. Lay on your back with your knees bent, placing your hands behind the back of the head, with the foam roller just below your shoulder blades.
  2. Keep your hips on the floor with your feet hip width apart.
  3. Position your back parallel to the floor, then begin move side to side in a sideways motion.

4. Lats (Roll)

Lats foam roller
  1. Lay on your side and extend the bottom leg.  Bend the top knee, keeping the foot firmly pressed to the floor.
  2.  Place the Roller under the armpit and extend the bottom arm..
  3. Length the arm with the palm facing upwards, then use your legs to slowly shift your body 10–15cm upwards and downwards
  4. Repeat on the other side

5. Lat (Hold and Stretch)

Lats foam roller hold
  1. Lay on your side with the legs in a bent position that feels comfortable.
  2. Place the foam roller perpendicular to your body, under the middle to the upper part of your side back.
  3. The length of the arm with the palm facing upwards. Slowly pull the arm down towards your chest bending at the elbow. lengthen the arm and repeat.

6. Gluteus maximus

Gluteus maximus foam roller
  1. Sit on top of the foam roller and cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Use your hand to steady yourself.
  2. Relax your leg and tilt toward the bent leg. Slowly roll from the top to the bottom of the glute muscle.
  3. When you find a sore spot, hold the position for at least 30 seconds until you can feel relax. Switch sides.

Key Takeaways

Foam roller exercises for back are the best to reduce the upper back pain and at the same time help to increase the flexibility and mobility.

Foam rolling can also be an important tool to use while cooling down after exercise.

If you regularly sit or stand for your job, or just have aches and pains, foam rolling can also be useful.

Always talk to your doctor before adding any new tools to your daily routine.

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