ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pilates Foam Roller Exercises to Relax Your Back

Updated on August 4, 2010

Relieve Back Tension

There are two things I love to do with foam rollers to massage out my back. I’ll walk you through both- they’re incredibly simple and they feel GREAT!

Horizontal Rolling

Rolling from Side to Side

  1. Lie on your foam roller with the base of your scull anchored to one end and your sacrum anchored at the other end. To get a bit of abdominal work out of this more passive movement, keep your ribcage anchored to the foam roller as well- this will require subtle abdominal engagement.
  2. Bring your hands up so they reach toward the ceiling, then widen them so they are only just in your peripheral vision (this brings your arms into the most neutral position for your shoulder blades and allows you to relax your muscles a bit more).
  3. Widen your feet on the mat so they are not in line with your hips, but rather a bit off to each side.
  4. Roll from side to side using your feet, massaging out your back. Really target the space between your shoulder blades - focus on loosening it up.
  5. Remember to keep your ribcage anchored as you move, so that your back does not arch and you get some abdominal work from the exercise as you simultaneously relax your back muscles.

Vertical Rolling

Vertically Rolling Out Your Spine

  1. Place your foam roller on your mat so that it lies perpendicular to your spine.
  2. Lean back on the foam roller so it is just under your shoulder blades, supporting the base of your scull under your fingers so that you do not strain the front of your neck.
  3. Inhale, then exhale, engage your abdominals, and slightly bridge up, lifting your sacrum off the mat.
  4. Using your legs, roll out your back- from the base of your neck to just above your kidneys.
  5. When you are finished rolling, feel free to bring your sacrum back down to the mat, bring the foam roller back under you shoulder blades, and extend your spine over it to open up and stretch your chest muscles and thoracic spine.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips. Once I get a foam roller to use for pi-yo, these exercises can help my back out. I use my dining room floor for my pi-yo practice.

    • equealla profile image


      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      The time issue ... so true, so true!

    • Simone Smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      It is a nice thing to have in-house!

      There are more portable Pilates things one can have in a house that can be easily packed away. There are lots of options! I think the hardest time is not finding space for doing Pilates, but rather finding time @_@

    • equealla profile image


      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Would love to have this in my home. Unfortunately my living space is so crowded and busy, there are barely space for a mouse. Starting to build up, (on top) next year. Perhaps I must include a small gym area!


    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)