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Stretching Shoulders with the Foam Roller

Posted Apr 22 2011 5:43pm

A few months ago I joined the gym and it’s been great for fixing my posture, getting rid of shoulder and back pain, and making me feel healthier and stronger.

One of my favorite gym tools –suitable for both people suffering from chronic injuries AND people who are gym junkies –  is the foam roller. It’s just a long, round piece of heavy foam that rolls across the ground. But it is a versatile tool for both self-massage and for stretching.

They are also available at gym and sports stores so you can get one for home—use it for a few minutes every day after work to help relax those shoulders and your back.

Here are some great stretches with the foam roller –

First you can lay with the roller stretched out under your back perpendicular to the spine. With feet flat on the floor, roll up and down one vertebrae at a time up from the bottom of rib cage to your upper shoulder blades. Do this 10 times, slowly, and it’s great at cracking your back and loosening up sore muscles.

The next thing I do is move the roller so it lines up with my spine and lay on it – feet still on the floor, butt to head, relaxed on the roller. Do a version of the “backstroke” — reach your arms up over your head parallel with the floor until they are straight. Then with your elbows bent, bring them down to your side, and bring your hands back in toward your body and put palms together above your stomach. Repeat 10 times or so to help restore your range of motion and posture.

There are a million other ways to use foam rollers. Youtube and google will give you more tips, just do a search. And I think I will be updating the store here shortly with foam rollers. Everyone should have one!

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