We once again revisit the Foam Roller because it is one of the most versatile, beneficial inexpensive training props available. Not only can almost anyone use it, but also it can be harnessed for both active exercise and strength-training purposes as well as stretching and relaxation. In specific, the Foam Roller is fantastic for stretching out the spine.
Why stretch the spine? Well…for one, it supports our head, our limbs, and many of our organs and so it needs TLC. But more so, we spend so much time stooped over, in a state of flexion (think rounded shoulders, sitting at a desk, in front of the TV, or in the car) that moving in the opposite direction is vital to long-term spinal health and functionality.
As far as accurate, medically sound resources go, YouTube can be hit or miss; however, there are a number of short videos devoted to stretching the spine, especially in the Thoracic region (think ribcage area), that are easy to follow and impart sound advice.
If nothing else, lolling around on a foam roller for a few minutes before bed is a nice way to step away from the day and into ‘I really want to experience sleep soon’ mode. Get ready to sleep tight…or better yet, sleep loose!
To strengthen that spine, and make those stretches even more rewarding, begin a fantastic Pilates program today! As we approach the holidays take the time to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of sound mind and body. It will last a lot longer than a trendy sweater!