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Foam roller exercises: back

The following exercises are taken from the Engage Health exercise sheet, created exclusively for iHealthSphere.

RELATED: Foam Roller Exercises Introduction || Foam roller exercises: legs

Upper Back / Thoracic Spine

Position: Rest your back against the roller positioned underneath your shoulder blades. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head, or you can cross your arms over your chest.

Engage your core muscles and raise the hips of the floor so you can slowly roll forward and backwards. The roller should move up and down between the middle of your back and the top of your shoulder blades.

p: Tuck your chin and try not to look at your legs as you roll. Keep your neck in neutral position. Only go as low as the middle back. It is never a good idea to roll through your lower lumbar spine.

The thoracic spine is designed for rotation and extension. Stiffness in this area is one of the most common issues we see in office workers. Rounded shoulders and slumped postures place tremendous strain on your spinal ligaments, joints, discs and muscles. Rolling this area will release stress and tension held in the upper shoulders and neck.

Back / Latissimus Dors

Back foam rollingPosition:Lie on your left side with your left arm extended and the roller directly under your left armpit. The roller should be perpendicular to your body. Bend your right arm and place your right hand on the floor in front of your abdomen for balance. Roll up and down so the roller moves from your armpit to just above your waist. Once you are finished, switch positions and lie on your right side.

Roll up and down so the roller moves from your armpit to just above your waist. Once you are finished, switch positions and lie on your right side.

Tip: Keep the thumb of your extended arm pointing up towards the ceiling - this puts your arm in a position that helps pre-stretch your lats.

Benefits: If your lats are tight they are probably not being used as they should be. Most people are very tight under the shoulder blade. Rolling this area will allow the shoulder girdle to sit in better alignment and position.

View related:
  • Foam roller exercises: back
  • Foam roller exercises: legs
  • Foam roller exercises: hips / glutes

  • Download: foam roller exercises
    Wherever you are you can follow these great exercises by downloading our exercise sheet. Print, share and take with you on the go!

    Foam Roller Exercise Sheet

    Foam rolling exercises

    About Engage Health
    Engage Health is a leading provider of occupational health and injury prevention programs. They specialise in reducing the incidence and severity of soft tissue and mental health injuries through functional and sustainable injury prevention programs.Their Mindfulness-based programs effectively reduce stress within the corporate environment and improve performance within the sporting and athletic arena. Sally Cumming is the director of Engage Health. She is an ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Mindfulness Educator with a passion for creating healthier, safer and more productive workplaces. These foam roller exercises will help to limit soreness and tightness by increasing blood flow and flexibility.

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