Using foam rollers in conjunction with your exercise program offers a lot of advantages. For instance, they can help release muscle tension, improve blood flow, and they even assist with the removal of toxins that have built up in your muscles as a result of working out, which ultimately means a shorter recovery time and less pain.
The question is: How do you use them?
Fortunately, foam rollers are very easy to use. So, in this article, which is part 1 of 2, we are going to discuss the various ways you can use them to benefit your upper body. In part 2, we will go over some lower body exercises that you can do with your foam roller to enhance your health and/or get some much needed relief in that area as well.
Upper Body Foam Rolling
When considering your upper body, this means using the foam roller to benefit the muscles above your waistline, primarily your upper back, shoulders, chest, and arms. Here are some exercises that can accomplish that goal:
- Thoracic Extension. To perform this foam roller exercise which benefits your middle back, lie on the foam roller so that it is long ways in the center of your back, extending from your head to your buttocks. Relax your body and stay in this position for a few seconds, working your way up to one and one-half minutes, as long as it feels comfortable to you.
- Crossed Arm Roll. This movement helps relax your chest area as well as your upper back. All you do is lie on the foam roller which is sideways under your back, just under your shoulder blades, with your arms crossed and on opposite shoulders. Slowly roll over the roller so it moves up and down your back.
- Side Roll. To help with shoulder flexibility, lie on your side with the roller underneath your shoulder blade, slowly moving your body up and down as you roll out the stress and tension in this area.
Now, to learn how to use the foam roller on your lower body, be sure to read part 2 of these directions!
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