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3 Foam Rolling Exercises for Relaxation & Resilience

Amy Bowman, OPTP Staff Writer - May 11, 2020

The simplest actions often make the greatest positive differences. Playfully rolling on a foam roller can help your body feel more relaxed, aligned and resilient as you release soft tissue and encourage tight areas to soften and lengthen. Read on for three foam roller exercises to help release stress and tension, recommended by Occupational Therapist and Certified Pilates Instructor Angela Kneale.
Middle Back Massage
Release tension between your shoulder blades while improving posture and flexibility.
1.     Sit on the floor with the roller behind you, and lean back onto the roller at the lower edge of your shoulder blades. Hands behind your head for support, reach your elbows toward the ceiling.

2.     Lift your pelvis, and slowly roll up and down your middle back from the top of the shoulder blades toward the bottom of your ribcage. Experience the support of your core muscles during movements.

Hip Rotator Massage
Release hip tension, increase hip mobility and improve posture.
1.     Sit on the roller crosswise, knees bent, and arm supporting on the floor behind the roller. Lean to one side and place that ankle on the opposite knee, rotate your hip outward as much as is comfortable and angle your knee down toward the floor.

2.     Slowly roll from top of your pelvis down toward the top of your thigh, relaxing and releasing deep hip rotator muscles. Repeat on the other side.

Low Back Release
Release lower back tension and promote segmental spinal mobility while improving posture.
1.     Stand tall and place the roller crosswise behind your low back. Hold the roller with your arms, palms facing forward.

2.     Gently press your arms forward and arch your back over the roller, adjusting roller placement for comfort. Maintain position for a few slow, deep breaths.

Find these and more relaxation exercises in PRO-ROLLER® Massage Essentials by Angela Kneale, OTD, MA, OTR/L, NBC-HWC.


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Amy Bowman, OPTP Staff Writer

Amy is a Minneapolis runner, cyclist and yoga enthusiast who enjoys writing about health and wellness, physical therapy and fitness topics.

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