3 Ways a Foam Roller Can Help You Feel Great!

 

Foam rollers are all the buzz, you've probably seen them everywhere! But, do you know how to use one? Read below for my top 3 ways to put your foam roller to use!

1. Open up the Thoracic Spine

This is the #1 area in the body that needs some serious TLC! Due to chronic sitting: at a desk, driving, traveling, etc we need to open up and extend this area! Place the foam roller horizontally across the mid back. Roll up and down, "scanning" the area for tight spots. When you come over a particularly tight spot or segment, place the pelvis on the ground and gently extend over the roller around 10 times. This will help increase extension throughout that area. After that, keep on scanning. Spend around 5 minutes on this, morning and night!

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2. Loosen up your Hips

Due to prolonged sitting, the hips tend to hold a lot of muscle tension. In fact, many times low back pain can be traced back to tight hips. Start with the foam roller horizontally over the front of the hip. (You will be on top of the foam roller, facing the ground). Placing the weight either on your hands or elbows roll gently over the hip. The more weight you apply into your arms, the more gentle the pressure will be. Apply the scanning technique from above, giving some extra time to areas of tightness. If you're feeling extra ambitious, roll the sides and back of the hip joint as well.

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3. Stretch out the Pecs (front of shoulder)

This use of the foam roller is more for stretching than rolling. Place the foam roller on the ground, in a vertical position. Lay on the foam roller with one end at the base of the neck, vertical along the spine. Plant feet on the ground for stability. Once you feel balanced, extend the arms straight on each side allowing the front of the shoulder to open up. You should feel a great stretch in the front of both shoulders. Hold this position for a minute or two. For further stretching, move the arms up and down, like you're making a snow angel. This can help teach the body that the shoulders can move and be loose!

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I hope these tips help your foam roller to stop collecting dust and help you get moving! Do you use a foam roller? What's your favorite way to incorporate it into your movement routine?

LOVE + HEALTHY SPINES,

DR. ABBY