Foam roller exercises for back stretching and strengthening provide a viable alternative to using weight machines or other equipment. Most foam rollers fit into small spaces, making them ideal for those looking for simple exercises at home or away from the gym.
These exercises provide thorough strengthening plus stretching for the lower, middle and upper back regions. Performing multiple repetitions at each of these exercises will give most individuals a simple yet effective full back workout regimen.
- While lying face down, extend both arms as far as they can reach, resting both wrists on the foam roller. Look upwards and lift the upper body and chest off of the ground for a lower back exercise. Maintain stability by pressing into the roller with both hands as only the chest gets lifted from the ground; this will ensure an isolated lower back stretch happens with each repetition.
- Place both feet on the roller with legs bent while lying face up. With both arms resting at each side of the body, bridge the back by slowly lifting the midsection and hips off of the ground. Hold the arched position for a compound back exercise that includes the middle and lower back sections predominantly. Perform this exercise with either both legs or just one leg stationary on the foam roller.
- Perform traditional push ups while holding the foam roller with both hands in a wide stance grip. This exercise targets the upper back muscles along with the chest when done correctly. Make sure the chest touches the ground and the arms get fully extended with each repetition. Shoulder blades should touch or get close to touching as the chest reaches close to the ground.