I’m not going to lie, we stole this one directly from GQ.com – surprisingly, it just happened to explain things in a very GQ way. Please consult your osteopath if you’re not sure if these exercises are for you!
Foam rollers (FR) can reduce pain, prevent injury. Here’s how to use one.
Upper back (added)
This is the big one they left out, your upper back. Type 1: Firstly, position the top of the roller (vertically) where your collar would be, then have the FR right down the middle of your back. Keep both knees bent up and your feet should be the only part of your body touching the ground, with your pelvis either on the FR too, or suspending above the ground. Place both arms out like you are surrendering and let your arms fall to the ground, initiating a pec stretch. This is the perfect reversal of your computer or car posture!
Type 2 (harder): As seen above, with the FR horizontal. Ensure you don’t roll below the base of your rib cage. Use your hands to hold your neck up, and preferably keep your elbows pointing to the ceiling to pull your shoulder blades out of the way. Do a few ‘drive-by’ or rolls to assess the sore areas, often you will notice one or two spots that are more tender than the rest. They are the ones we want to pause on for 15-30 seconds. Try to breathe through them and allow your body to relax, but this can be a bit much unless you are used to it.
Did you notice what was missing? We left off the ITB…ask us why! While you’re at it, ask us how to add your glutes in here too.
Roughly, I would use the FR for my back 1-2/week, and as needed for the rest of my body! As you can see, some simple home exercises to add to your stretching regime that can help relieve tension but help your recovery.
Look after yourselves,