Check out these foam roller for back exercises to soothe soreness
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Did you know you can use a foam roller for back exercises? You’ve likely heard about the benefits of foam rolling for post-workout recovery. If you suffer from back pain, you’re not alone. Sitting for long periods can cause the muscles surrounding your back to ‘switch off’ or become stiff, often resulting in back pain.
If your back pain is caused by inactivity, help is at hand. The best foam rollers are a brilliant way to activate your muscles and relieve soreness. They're incredibly versatile and you can use them to enhance both your warm-up and post-workout routine.
We’ll cover the basics of foam rollers and how they can help with back pain. To get you started, we’ve also got five foam rollers for back exercises for you to try.
Looking for relief from back pain? Check out these bodyweight exercises to ease back pain and yoga poses to soothe lower back pain. If your mattress is past its best you may want to consider investing in one of the best mattresses for back pain.
A foam roller is a tube that you roll over muscles to relieve tension. Jude McGowan, personal trainer at F45 Noak Hill and F45 Peckham Rye, explains that it is a form of massage known as self-myofascial release (SMR). The pressure from the roller eases tightness in the fascia - the protective layer surrounding your muscles - helping to reduce pain. If you’re a beginner, foam rolling can be intense, so ease in with a softer roller. Already know how to use a foam roller? You may want to experiment with ridged or vibrating foam rollers to take the intensity up a notch.
Depending on the cause of your back pain, foam rolling may alleviate soreness. If inactivity is the culprit, following foam roller for back exercises can target muscles that switch off in a seated position.
Abi Smith, a physiotherapist at Six Physio, says that some people find foam rolling helpful to relieve pain in their lower backs. “It can be a nice addition alongside physiotherapy and general exercise,” she says. “However, foam rolling isn't a substitute for regular movement. Seek advice from a health professional to rule out any underlying issues first.”
While there is evidence to support the benefits of foam rolling, experts aren’t exactly sure why it soothes pain. “This is still being debated within the research,” says Smith. “Our current understanding is foam rolling stimulates nerves that sit within muscles and this can lead to a pain-relieving effect.”
McGowan suggests the following foam roller for back exercises to soothe muscle pain. Remember to take your time to find the right alignment to reduce the risk of injury.
To support the strength and stability of your lower back, it’s important to relieve any tension in your glutes, which will also assist in loosening your legs.
This exercise is designed to reduce lower back tension, but don't apply too much pressure to the area.
McGowan recommends this exercise to support posture, stability, and alignment.
For a stronger core, you may also want to check out out guides to the best core exercises, L-sits and this exercise to improve core stability.
This exercise encourages good posture and is beneficial for people who sit for long periods. Avoid going any lower than the end of your rib cage.
This stretch reduces upper back stress and corrects bad posture caused by leaning or hunching forward frequently.
Louise Bond is a writer specialising in health and wellbeing. She has over eight years of experience in management within health and care and brings this passion and expertise to her writing. Louise has been published in The Guardian, Live Science, Fit & Well, Tom's Guide, Planet Mindful, Breathe, and Psychreg. She is at her happiest when she is out in nature, whether that's on an invigorating hike or pottering in the garden.
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