Thoracic roll out

Thoracic roll out

Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Thoracic roll out on a roller is another great feel good manoeuvre that mobilises the thoracic spine. As such, it is really useful for easing neck pain and neck stiffness. It can be varied to suit your desired level of massage. Initially it can be quite uncomfortable, especially if you are particularly tight or stiff around your neck to mid back area. Persevere if you can, doing frequent rolls of short duration, as it does make a difference to your neck and thoracic mobility with time and practice.

Set Up:

  • in supine lying, with knees bent and feet hip width apart,
  • place roller, perpendicular to spine,  underneath shoulder blade area,
  • lace fingers behind your head, keeping elbows in line with ears,
  • contract deep tummy muscles at a low level.


  1. keeping weight into both heels, squeeze buttocks and lift pelvis off the floor, so that hips line up with shoulders and ears,
  2. use heels to move body back and forth over roller over shoulder blade area,
  3. continue for 30 – 60 seconds.
thoracic roll out


  • breathe normally throughout exercise,
  • maintain deep tummy contraction at a low level, throughout exercise,
  • keep chin slightly tucked and elbows in line with ears throughout exercise,
  • squeeze bottom muscles and maintain contraction throughout exercise.
  • bring forearms beside ears and parallel to each other, elbows pointing to ceiling. Curl ribcage to bellybutton as you roll back and forth to feel a deeper massage in the thoracic spine.
  • lower the bottom to the floor and do a deeper thoracic mobilisation at each level
thoracic mobilisation

Make it Harder:

  • lift one knee over hip and maintain that position as you roll back and forth. Repeat on the other side.
  • lift one foot off floor then straighten knee and maintain straight leg perpendicular to floor. Repeat on the other side.