When beginning any exercise lying on the roller it is a great idea to go through this basic set up. This ensures that you know where your body is and that you have a greater chance of performing your exercise successfully.
Please follow this link if you are at all unsure how to approach laying on the roller. Similarly, if you suffer from back pain or have issues with your knees or hips the following link has some great tips Beginner Foam Roller Tips.
Basic set up on the foam roller as demonstrated-
- your feet and knees should be hip width apart, with your ankles vertically in line with your knees,
- your lumbar spine should be in a neutral position. Pelvic tilt to arch your lower back away from roller (keeping your tailbone in contact). Then pelvic tilt to touch your lower back onto roller. Keep pelvic tilting until you find the midway position. This is your “neutral” back position. It should feel comfortable and you should be pain free.
- engage your deep abdominal (or tummy) muscles, at a low level, without pelvic tilting or turning on your surface or superficial abdominal muscles.(Do this by gently drawing your belly button in, towards your spine, without moving from the neutral position. Squeeze your tummy muscles at about 25% or less, of a full contraction).
- reach and squeeze your shoulder blades gently around roller. Repeat this several times to find a neutral position where your shoulder blade muscles are slightly engaged.
- gently tuck your chin to elongate your neck.
- make sure you are breathing normally down into your diaphragm.
- NB your ribs should not flare or poke out if you are breathing normally with length in your neck and thoracic spine.
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