ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Easy Pilates Foam Roller Exercises to Improve Posture

Updated on August 5, 2010
Pilates exercises in general- especially those that focus on extension- are excellent for improving posture.  Adding a foam roller to the mix can improve matters even more!  

Below are some simple Pilates foam roller exercises you can do to improve posture.

Modified Swan

  1. Lie prone (on your belly) on your mat
  2. Start off by lying completely flat, with your forehead resting on your hands
  3. Take a deep inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth as though you’re fogging up a mirror.  As you exhale, co-contract (engage your abdominal muscles)- you should feel your belly button pull away from the mat.  Every time you exhale, you should co-contract in this manner.  This way, exercises that would otherwise focus mostly on your back and shoulders, will also provide abdominal work.
  4. Now that you’re all set up and breaking correctly, you can bring yourself in position to start modified swan.  Place the foam roller so that it lies above your head and perpendicular to your torso.
  5. Place your forearms on the roller with your palms facing each other.
  6. Inhale, then exhale and co-contract while rolling up into a chest float by pulling your shoulder blades down your back.  Your foam roller will roll toward you, but avoid putting pressure on it (pretend it’s made of glass)
  7. Continue rolling up, relying a bit more on the foam roller as you roll up higher, but don’t go past the base of your rib cage.
  8. Pause at the height of your extension; inhale, and then exhale and co-contract as you roll down.
  9. Repeat five to ten times.


Not pressing too hard on the foam roller encourages you to utilize your back muscles instead of pushing yourself up with your arms, which you will be more likely to do with traditional swan.

Coming up into the chest float and then modified swan (modified because you’re only rolling up to the base of your ribcage, and not your pubic bone) encourages you to focus on your upper (thoracic) spine, which is what really needs more work when it comes to improving posture (this is where we tend to hunch over most).

Neck Presses

  1. Lie on your foam roller with the base of your skull anchored to one end, the base of your ribcage anchored to the center, and your sacrum anchored to the other end.
  2. Inhale, filling the sides and back of your ribcage.
  3. Exhale, co-contracting and press the base of your skull into the foam roller.
  4. Repeat five to ten times.


This simple exercise encourages you to contradict the forward-thrusting position into which you usually put your neck

By co-contracting with every exhale in this exercise, you’re also getting abdominal work while simultaneously improving your posture

Snow Angels

  1. Lie on your foam roller with the base of your skull anchored to one end, the base of your ribcage anchored to the center, and your sacrum anchored to the other end.
  2. Bring your arms out to your sides with your palms facing toward the ceiling.
  3. Move your arms up and down in a snow angel motion, slowly inhaling and exhaling as you move, and co-contracting with each exhale.
  4. Repeat eight to twelve times.


This exercise helps you to loosen your chest muscles, which, when tight, can contribute to poor posture.

Passive Chest Stretch

  1. Lie on your foam roller with the base of your skull anchored to one end, the base of your ribcage anchored to the center, and your sacrum anchored to the other end.
  2. Let your arms rest on the mat so that your body forms a lower-case “t” - because you are lying on the elevated foam roller, you should feel a passive stretch in your chest.
  3. Lie in this position for as long as desired, inhaling and exhaling smoothly and co-contracting with each exhale for added abdominal muscle engagement.


For a deeper stretch, bring your arms into a goal post or cactus position


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      10 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm not much of a gym person myself, so I know how you feel, but it's easy to get hooked in Pilates once you feel the difference it makes. The nice thing is that if you get a couple of private lessons, you could possibly build your own workout that you can then do at home with just a mat and simple things like a foam roller.

    • yenajeon profile image

      Yena Williams 

      10 years ago from California

      I've always wanted to try pilates, but I'm not a gym-girl at all. This makes me want to sign up for a class!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)