Foam rollers are a common sight at the gym. Why? No less an authority than the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) notes that working a foam roller, either before or after your main gym workout, improves your range of motion in both muscles and joints, decreases muscle pain (particularly after a workout), and reduces tightness in your muscles so you can exercise at peak efficiency.
Well, let's roll it, then. Looking for an exercise that is good for your upper back and core and has the benefit of increasing good posture as well? This one, called the Reverse Push-Through, does all that.
- Sit on the floor with a foam roller in back of you, your legs stretched out in front of you.
- Place both hands on the roller, arms straight and palms facing you.
- Gently lower your back toward the ground, letting the foam roller roll up your arms.
- Hold for five seconds, breath out.
- Then slowly roll back up to the first position you were in.
That's one rep. Perform three to five reps.
Looking for one that exercises your core and your obliques? Try this one, called the Scissors.
- Stretch out on your back on a roller, face up.
- Your forearms should be on the floor, with bent elbows.
- Keeping your legs straight and body balanced on the roller, lift the right leg to be straight up (perpendicular to the floor) and the left a few inches off the floor.
- Slowly switch, so that your left leg is perpendicular and your right leg a few inches off the floor.
That's one rep. Perform six to eight reps and you're done!
The exercise is that your obliques have to do some heavy work to maintain your body in position on the roller.