Posture Reset with Foam Rolling

This is my absolute favorite posture exercise. It’s just posture rehabilitation, but it’s a phenomenal way to get a lot of different things done. You can work on your breathing. You can work on relaxation, de-stress, a lot of different things in this posture. We use a foam roller, it’s 36 inches long, six inches diameter. You can get them on Amazon for somewhere between $17 and $23. Easy to do. Hard to get them in stores these days because they’re all small, short. This exercise is my favorite use of a foam roller.

I’m not a fan of foam rolling personally, just because I don’t like mashing the trigger points and making them hurt. I have other ways that I get after that. What we want to do is work on this exercise, so you can do it in your own home. Everybody in the house can do this. It’s an investment of about 20 bucks and you can really start working on your posture. What we have you do is lay on the foam roller from your tailbone to your head. You want to make sure your head’s on the foam roller. You’re going to lay with your palms up because it opens up the chest. If you turn your hands the other way, you’ll see it closes the chest a little bit. It’s natural. Your body kind of wants to go palms down, so you want to make sure you bring those palms up.

Second piece I work on is to take a towel and put it behind the neck because you want to work on the curvature of the neck. One of the mistakes that people make is put the towel behind their head which is actually going to do the opposite thing that we want to do. We want to enhance that cervical curve. Make sure you are actually touching the foam roller with your head. If you make the towel big enough to where your head is not touching the foam roller, your heads hanging in space, it’s going to be uncomfortable. You want to make sure that it is actually accentuating that curve.

I like to also use something to put between the knees, like a yoga block, ball, or pillow, it doesn’t matter. You can use a bunch of different things, but for this one, we’re going to use the foam block. Make sure you hold that firmly, but you’re not trying to crush this thing. One of the things that people, especially guys, will ask me is, “so I’m just supposed to lay here?” The funny thing is it feels like a very passive exercise, but there’s a lot going on. Again, we’re working on the neck curve and we’re opening up the chest. We’re taking that mid back and we’re opening it up.

We’re also working on these adductor muscles. This is a way to work on posture and core at the same time. The core is really the pelvic floor. It’s not necessarily abdominals. The pelvic floor is an extremely important muscle and this is an easy way to work that. In addition, while you’re here, you can be working on your breathing, because all of us are shallow breathing, especially with all the stress we got going on these days. Typically what I’ll tell people is to do this 10 to 15 minutes, twice a day. That would be optimal. If you have to pick one time a day, do it in the evening, because you’ve been sitting at a desk or even the computer, whatever you’ve been doing. This might cause some posture issues. If you can get it in twice a day, it’s phenomenal.

There’s tons of apps that you can use. The Pause app, the Calm app that you can play or listen to a podcast. Any of those things you can do while you’re laying on this roller to work on your relaxation. One of the worst things you can do while you’re on this is be on your phone. This is going to undo a lot of what you’re trying to do. It’s going to close down the chest. You’re actually going to roll those shoulders forward. So give yourself a break, put the podcast down next to you, put the music on, lay it to the side, take a break from electronics for a little bit and really work on this. Like I said, it’s a very, very beneficial activity for posture, it is my favorite exercise.

The last thing you can do, if you want to do just a little bit more, you can work on pelvic tilt. You just tilt that tailbone off of the block, and have your back firmly against the block or the roller. It’s kind of pulls the belly button down into the roll, almost through his back. I would suggest you hold that for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. If you’re feeling too much hamstring, move your heels a little bit closer to your body. Now do that again and see if it feels different. You want to do mostly glutes. You want to feel the glutes working and the quads working and that pelvic floor working down there in that pelvis. Be really consistent with it. It’ll make a big change in your posture.

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