Home Foam Roller Routine for Better Posture


The foam roller has become a common piece of equipment in the exercise and rehabilitation world. Research articles support the use of foam rollers for improving flexibility, mobility, and to reduce muscle soreness. Foam rollers can help work on trigger points, which are "knots" in your muscles that cause increased stiffness and possibly pain. Below is a routine that focuses on areas of the upper and lower body that commonly become tight from sitting for long periods of time.

Give these exercises a try and notice if you feel more mobile and looser throughout the day! These exercises may be tender on sore muscles but they should not be painful. If you experience pain or have any questions, our Physical Therapists are happy to address any of your concerns during a one-on-one session.

Foam Rolling Quads

Start by lying face down so that a foam roller is under the top of your thighs. Next, using your arms propped on your elbows, roll forward and back across your thighs. Stay active in your upper body, not letting your shoulder dip. You want to roll from your hips, stopping right above the knees.

Perform: 2-3 min per side Tip: Avoid sagging in the back. Protect your low back by engaging your core.

Foam Rolling IT Band

Start on your side with a foam roll under your bottom thigh. Next, using your arms and top leg, roll up and down along your outer thigh. Go from your hip all the way down to your knee. It does not feel the best. Breathe!

Perform: 2-3 min per side

Tip: On the tight spots hold and breathe for 5-8 seconds and continue the length of the thigh.

Foam Rolling Glutes/Piriformis

Start by sitting on a foam roll and cross your left leg on top of your right knee as shown. Lean slightly towards your left side. Next, using your arms and right leg roll forward and back across your buttock area.

Perform: 2-3 min per side

Tip: Avoid shrugging the shoulders up towards the ears.

Foam Rolling Lats

Start by lying on your side with the foam roller under the upper portion of the rib cage near your armpit. Next, using the supporting leg, roll forward and back from armpit to lower ribs. This is a sensitive area so make sure you breathe.

Perform: 2-3 min per side

Tip: Keep palm facing up.

Thoracic Stretch and Mobility with Foam Roller

On all fours place your supporting hand directly under your shoulder. Thread the opposite arm across the mid-line, pressing the pinky to the foam roller with the thumb up. Maintain strong posture through the supporting arm, with the sensation of pushing away from the floor. Roll the foam roller away from your body, rotating through the spine to get a stretch in your mid back. Draw the foam roller back towards the body and return to the starting position. Perform: 1 set of 10 reps, hold stretch 10 seconds, repeat on opposite side

Tip: Think: wringing out your mid back like a washcloth! =)

Thoracic Extension Mobility with Foam Roller

Start by lying with the foam roller under your mid back. Cradle the head with your hands to support your neck. Slowly arch your spine over the foam roller, finishing with a small crunch. Start with the roller lower then move it up and inch at a time until you reach the top of the shoulder blades.

Perform: 3 reps in each position

Tip: Do not pull on neck. Also, keep the hips on the floor without allowing them to lift.

Pec Stretch with Foam Roller

Lie down on the foam roller, supporting the entire spine from the neck to the tailbone. Your entire spine should touch the foam roller. Pull your navel to spine, pressing the low back into the roller without arching. Allow your arms to drop towards the floor with your elbows bent and 90 degrees away from your side as shown. Hold for a gentle stretch across your chest. Keep elbows bent in the hands up positions and draw elbows down to pockets for a more intense stretch.

Perform: 1 set of 10 reps, hold last rep 20 seconds

Tip: Goal is to get your elbows and back of hands to touch the floor! Stretching your pecs is very important after a lot of computer work and sitting.

Active Pec Stretch with Foam Roller

Start on your back with the foam roller fully supporting the spine from head to tailbone. Again, your entire spine should touch the foam roller. Pull your navel to spine, pressing the low back into the roller without arching. Arms start bent with palms facing each other then open and close the elbows keeping them in 90 degrees. Might feeling some popping or trigger points in between your shoulder blades.

Perform: 2 sets of 10 reps

Tip: Perform your full range of motion, bringing your arms closest to the floor as you can.

Shoulder Flexion Mobility with Foam Roller

While lying on your back on your foam roller extend the arms, pointing the fingers towards the ceiling. Slowly lower one arm back towards your ear while the opposite palm moves towards your hip. Return to the start position and alternate arms. Shoulders should be relaxed, and the back should not arch as you move the arms.

Perform: 2 sets of 10 reps

Tip: This exercise causes you to to find your balance! Engage your core while on the roller so you don't roll off. Try to avoid shifting side to side.

Shoulder Abduction Mobility with Foam Roller

While lying on your back on your foam roller extend both arms straight up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower your arms out towards the side, bringing the back of the palm towards the floor. Return to the starting position, keeping the shoulders and neck relaxed without arching through the back. Perform: 2 sets of 10 reps

Tip: Do no let your shoulders come up towards your ears. Keep the shoulders down, pinching the shoulder blades around the roller when your arms are out straight to the sides.


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