August 25, 2012
Foam rollers are simple pieces of equipment particularly used for exercising and strengthening the back of the body. They come in different shapes and sizes, and you can purchase one online, guided by the level of training experience you have with them and by reading realistic foam roller reviews. The higher your level of experience, the bigger the roller you can purchase. This article outlines some of the foam roller exercises for back pain that you can comfortably perform at home:
1. Spine Mobility
This exercise not only helps to exercise and strengthen the lower back, but it also helps in sculpting our core area. Perform it by lying down, face up, and position the roller on your lower back. Ensure that your feet are flat on the ground, while your bum is lifted above the ground. Rock forward until the foam roller reaches your mid-back, and then resume to the starting position. To get a more effective work out on all sides of your back, roll your body towards the right and left sides as well.
2. Lumbar Spine Exercise
To perform this exercise, place the foam roller on the small of your back and incline your body to its left. As you do this, ensure that the spine is kept straight, with the weight of your body supported by the left elbow. Pressure should be felt only on the left side of the spine and not entirely on it. Next, hoist your left leg and hold it up from the back of the knee. Move the body back and forth in measured movements to exercise the left side of the back. For more effect, straighten up the left leg as much as possible. Change sides and repeat this process to stretch the other side of your back.
3. Lower Back Exercise
Position your foam roller slightly underneath your neck, and plant your feet in front of your body. Hoist your hips off the surface to create a bridge. With your arms folded at the chest, move your body so that the roller reaches your lower back and stop once you get to the bottom of your spine. Move backwards, but only up to the mid-back area. From this position, perform several repetitions to the lower back section and back. This foam roller exercise has the added advantages of working out your tummy and strengthening your core.
4. Hip Roll
A hip roll is useful in relieving muscle tension in the gluts and the back. Try it by placing your foam roller on the floor, and lay down the side of your body so that your hip is positioned on top of the roller. Your feet should be placed on the floor, with your arms lifting your body up. Roll from the hip up to halfway through your thigh to stretch that lower area of the back, but do not overdo it.
5. Lower Back Stretch
This form of exercise targets the lower back and massages it to relieve pains and aches. To perform it, place your foam roller on a carpeted floor then lie down, facing the roof, so that the roller is positioned on your lower back. Cross your arms at your belly and thrust your body back and forth while on top of the roller to stretch the lower back. Alternatively, use your feet to move the body forward and back so that the effect can be felt all the way to the middle of your back.
6. Back Roll
This technique is perhaps the easiest way to eliminate lower back pain with foam roller exercises. The back roll is also helpful in exercising the shoulders and waist. You can do the back roll by placing your foam roller on a flat surface and laying your back on top of it. Your knees should be bended, with your arms supporting the weight of your body. Use your arms and feet to shove your body forward and backwards to ensure that the entire area of the back is stretched. To place more emphasis on the lower back, do not elevate your body very high above the ground.
While at home, make sure that these exercises are performed gradually to avoid aggravation of existing back conditions. Once you get more experience and improve your form, you can then perform these exercises at a higher intensity. Again, only purchase a foam roller of the appropriate size; research online to find the ideal size for you.