The foam roller isn’t just for causing extreme pain and copious amounts of swearing these days. One of my favorite uses of it is for opening up the chest and extending the thoracic spine. If you sit for hours every day, your shoulders are surely rolling forward and the pecs are getting tighter and tighter. The more this happens over time, the thoracic spine will lose it’s ability to rotate consequently putting an enormous amount of pressure onto the shoulders, elbows and wrists to make up for the lack of movement. In some cases, it can even stress the lower back out.
Have no fear though, doing this stretch daily will help you fight the war against bad posture!
Follow these keys to make sure you perform it correctly:
- Make sure the foam roller is running across the shoulder blades to start.
- Lightly place your hands around your years and find a comfortable position for the arms.
- Keep your butt on the ground the entire time.
- As you begin to stretch over the foam roller, feel your rib cage staying anchored down. This is key! Most people let the rib cage flair open, but we want to create a stretch through the abs as well.
- Hold for 15 seconds and take a few deep breaths. As you begin to relax into the stretch, you can move the foam roller lower to increase the stretch.
If you don’t have a foam roller, you can roll up a towel and accomplish the same stretch. Try it out and let me know how it goes!