foam roller stretches for back

8 Foam Roller Exercises for Back and Hips

In the previous stretching post we focused on using the foam roller for the lower body. This time we’re going to massage and perform foam roller exercises for back and hips.

If you’re sitting for many hours during the day and find your back and hips feeling tight or even achy, consider indulging in a series of foam roller exercises for the lower back. This wonderful stretch sequence requires nothing more than a foam roller. And remember, adopting a good, relaxed mood will enhance the benefits 😉

Scroll down for the follow-along video of Foam Roller Exercises for Back and Hips.

Here are the Foam Roller Exercises for the Lower Back and Hips, complete with descriptions and instructions on how to perform them.

1. Lower Back and Hip Release

Mobilizing and releasing the hip joints and back before starting with the more static stretches. Lie down on your back and place the roller underneath the sacrum bone. Hug your knees in towards the chest. Then circle around: pull the knees in, side and around. X5 circles each direction.

foam roller stretches lower back

2. Hip Flexors Stretch

A great stretch to open up the hip flexors. The muscles at the front of your hip that tend to shorten and be tight when you spend many hours in a seated position. Pull one knee in towards the chest and extend forward the other leg. You should feel a gentle stretch at the front of the hip (of the straight leg).

foam roller hip stretch

3. Hamstring Stretch

From the previous exercise – bend the knee of the front leg and with the foot flat on the floor. Then straighten and bend the top leg (x5). Breath deeply and hold the stretch with straight leg, gently pulling the leg towards you for 10 seconds.

hamstring stretch

4. Split Stretch

Extend the bottom leg while holding the top leg straight to perform a front split. Do not force it please. Find a good enough position where you can feel a gentle stretch and hold it for about 10 seconds. Then transition to a side split; legs opening out to the sides. Hold it there for a few more seconds.

split stretch
split stretch

*Execute exercises #2-#4 to the other leg.

5. Cobra Stretch

From a prone position (on your belly) with the hands on the roller in front of you. Start by drawing the shoulders down away from the ears and, then lift your head and chest into back extension. Go as high as you’re comfortable. Inhale as you extend your back and exhale as you lower down and go back to starting position. x10 reps.

cobra stretch

6. Front Chain Stretch – Quads, Abs and Shoulder

From the same starting position on your belly with hands on the roller in front of you. Grab one leg (ankle) and gently pull it in towards your glutes (butt). Make sure you’re not hyper-extending the back. To avoid it – tuck the tailbone under slightly (press the pubic bone gently on the mat and engage the glute muscles). Hold this Quadriceps stretch for a few seconds. Then reach the heel away from you to pull the upper body up into extension (similar to the Cobra stretch). Other hand on the roller in front of you with straight arm. Rolling it in towards you as you go up and forward as you go back down.

back and hip stretch

7. Kneeling Downward Dog Stretch (Shoulder and Back)

This is a great chest opener and also a stretch for the big back muscle (Latissimus Dorsi). From the child’s pose position: sit back on the heels with your chest over your thighs and arms forward resting on the foam roller. Shift your body weight forward until your hips aligned over the knees. your chest remain down close to the ground with long arms reaching forward. To emphasis more on the back muscle stretch, tailbone should be slightly tucked under.

foam roller back stretch

8. Thread the Needle – Upper Back Stretch

From all fourth position and the roller vertically along your side, place the back of the farthest hand on the roller. Roll it out to the side as you lower the upper body down closer to the ground. Move back and forth a few times. Then hold down the stretch for about 10 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch to the upper back muscles, in between the shoulder-blades. Repeat to the other side.

foam roller stretches for back

Now grab your foam roller and follow along with me… 😉