In this video, you’ll learn how to ease back tension with a foam roller. If you’re someone who sits for a prolonged period then knowing how to stretch on the foam roller can help with improving flexibility and can make you feel more comfortable.

Watch the video or read more below:

Read on to Find Out How to Ease Back Tension with a Foam Roller:


Exercise #1: Lay on it Lengthwise

How to Ease Back Tension with a Foam Roller: Lay on it Lengthwise

You’ll need the long foam roller for this (90cm). Sit on the end of the foam roller and lower yourself so your spine is resting on the roller, making sure your head is supported at the other end. Your knees are bent and your feet are flat to give you some support. If this is your first time trying this, you may find you’re a bit wobbly, but you’ll soon get used to it. This is the basics of the first exercise, it’s really nice and simple and the variations are changes you can make.

Relax for 5-10 minutes.

Variation #1: Relax with Arm Movement

How to Ease Back Tension with a Foam Roller: Relax with Arm Movement

You’re laying on the foam roller as described above and now adding some arm movement for an extra stretch. Bring your arms out to the side and flip your hands so the palms face up to the ceiling. If you have space at home, bring your arms out to get them 90 degrees or even all the way up and overhead. Look for where you get a nice stretch and hold your arms there to relax into it.

Relax for 5-10 minutes – but change the position of your arms sooner, if needed.

Variation #2: Focus on Breathing

How to Ease Back Tension with a Foam Roller: Focus on Breathing

Again, you’re laying on the foam roller. Place one hand on the upper chest and the other on the belly. Take a breath in and focus on moving the hand that’s on the belly (and not the hand that’s on the upper chest). When you first try this you may find both hands move or just the one on the upper chest, consider this a work in progress and practice.

Aim: 4 – 5 deep breaths before returning to your normal breathing pattern.

Variation #3: Roll side to side

There are muscles that lay on either side of the spine and it’s those that you’ll be targeting with this variation. Have your hands out on the floor to support you for balance and slowly roll side to side, aiming to get the foam roller on those muscles. This will increase the blood flow to the area and can reduce tension.

Aim: 8-10 rolls on either side.

Exercise #2: Lay on it Horizontally

How to Ease Back Tension with a Foam Roller: Lay on it Horizontally

Rather than have the foam roller vertical as with the exercises above, you want to rotate the foam roller so it’s now horizontal. Sit on the floor and aim to get your upper back on the foam roller. Hold your head for support. Try and arch your upper back over the foam roller and hold for 10-20 seconds, before changing the area you’re targeting. The area to focus on is from the bottom of the rib cage to just below the neck. Try 4-5 different areas of the upper back and see if they feel the same, or if some areas feel tighter than others.

Aim: 5-6 x 20-second hold.


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Trying out different exercises is key to improving and maintaining the body’s flexibility, which in turn can help with recruiting muscles efficiently.

If you’ve got any questions on the above, then please let us know (click for contact details).

Remember – Listen to Your Body!

Please remember to listen to your body. Get any aches and pains checked out sooner rather than later.


As with all information given for exercises and exercise programs, when using our exercise videos or information, please use your common sense and don’t do anything that will hurt you. By performing any fitness exercises, you are performing them at your own risk. PhysioFit Health will not be responsible or liable for any injury or harm you sustain as a result of information shared on our website or YouTube channel. This includes emails, videos, and text. Thanks for your understanding.

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