Foam Roller Exercises for the Upper Body
Foam rolling should be incorporated into:
- Your warm-ups, to stimulate blood flow and prepare your muscles to push themselves to the limit!
- Your cool-downs, to release permanently contracted knots in your muscle, and also boost supply of nutrients to the damaged muscle.
We have taken the effort to compile foam roller exercises for your upper body below!
Common Upper Body Pains And Their Responsible Muscle Groups
A sore neck when moving is most commonly caused by a strain in the neck muscles that run down both sides of the back of your neck. You may commonly find that you are unable to turn your neck to one side.
This muscle strain develops most commonly because of:
- Poor sleeping posture (Sleeping on your side with your spine out of alignment.
- Craning your neck at the desk.
- Activities that put your neck out of alignment for a prolonged period.
You may release the tension in your neck muscles by foam rolling the neck muslces.
Ever experienced a sharp pain in the front delt during bench presses? You may have a shoulder impingement.
This is commonly caused by:
- A weak rotator cuff.
- Tight lats, which which cause the shoulder joint to move forward during pressing motions, increasing the risk of impingement.
Strengthen your rotator cuffs and incoporate the foam roller exercises for lats in the infographic above into your warm-up/cool-down regimen.
Lower Back Pain
Yes, lower back pain can be caused by tight upper body muscles! Tight lats cause your lower back to arch during overhead presses. This places a lot of stress on the lumbar spine, which may result in degenerative discs and disc bulges. Lower back pain is commonly experienced with sciatica: a radiating pain down the back of one leg.
Foam roll your lats to keep them flexible!
Foam Roller Exercises For Quicker Gains
Heavy contractions cause your muscles to accumulate many muscle knots that shorten your muscles and reduce your range of motion. This greatly limits your gains by 1)limiting your maximal strength, and 2) increasing your risk of injury.
Range of motion is also vital to achieving perfect form and injury prevention. Tight muscles in the upper body, such as chest and upper traps, often lead to chronic pains such as lower back pain and heel pain. While it remains a good post-workout habit, static stretching does nothing for the muscle knots you accumulate.
Foam roller exercises release the muscle knots and help maintain peak performance. Foam rollers also bring with them a whole host of other benefits such as better sleep, better circulation, and prevention of coronary diseases!