Among the most common issues we access the pilates workshop is people grumbling about upper back or lower neck pain because of poor posture. When you plunge forward with your neck or round your shoulders in, your poor muscle mass should work overtime to hold everything up. This can at some point bring about misalignment, pinched nerves, discomfort, soreness, as well as a range of various other issues.
Start on the ground with the roller under your mid-back, and cross your hands over your chest. Keeping your butt on the ground, extend back over the roller and try to touch your head to the ground behind you. If you have neck issues, feel free to hold your hands behind your neck for support. Return to starting position, move the roller a bit higher up on your back, and then extend over the roller again. Hold for a second or two as you extend, then return to start to inch the roller higher up again, and repeat. Work all the way up your mid to upper back as many times as needed.
Doing this yoga move on the roller not only enhances the release in your trapezius muscles, neck, and upper back, but it also adds a slight stability challenge. Really push your hands firmly into the roller and make sure your wrists are in line with your shoulders and your hips are over your knees. Take a big inhale and round your spine up to the sky without sinking back toward your heels. On your exhale, arch your back into a “U” shape and gaze upward, feeling the stretch on your front. Repeat at least 5 to 8 times, trying to stretch longer with each repetition.
Thread a Needle
Get on your hands and knees, and then place the roller along the right side of your body. You can place a pillow or mat under your knees for comfort. From here, reach your left arm under your body and place it palm-up on the roller. Push your left arm forward so that your body begins to twist, and the foam roller begins to roll away from your torso. Follow your arm with your head, and remember to breathe. Roll back to the center position and repeat 58 times, then switch sides and repeat. Only twist as far as you’re comfortable while doing this stretch—you should not feel any pain.