Relieve neck and back tension with these simple spinal mobility exercises

In this video, I’m going to show you 2 things our clients absolutely love to do. We save this for the end of the workout, and it is  like the equivalent of Shavasana in yoga. You have time to just be quiet on the floor and to let your body process the changes that happened during the workout. It is also a great way to open up your chest and to relieve some of the stiffness that happens in your upper back through the course of the day. All the sitting, working on the computer, and driving tends to round your shoulders and create some strain and inflexibility in the upper spine.

PLEASE NOTE: Only do these poses if your spine and shoulder joints are healthy.  If you experience any pain during these poses, stop immediately.  Always check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

To do these exercises you’ll need a half foam roller, regular foam roller, or a bolster.

TIP: You can make a bolster out of a folded blanket or beach towel if you don’t have one at home.

Exercise #1: Lay your foam roller or bolster on the ground vertically. Lay down and line up your spine so it is parallel with the bolster. You can have your head resting on the bolster, or you can scoot up so your head is lying flat on the floor. Turn your palms up and put your arms out straight like a T, palms up. Lay just like this and take deep breaths for about 3 minutes.

Exercise #2: Move your foam roller or bolster so it is horizontal and perpendicular to your spine. Lay down in an arched position with your shoulder blades resting on the bolster. Turn your palms up and put your arms out to the side or you can hold your arms over your chest – whichever is more comfortable for you. Stay in this position for another 3 minutes, taking deep breaths, and just relaxing.

When you’ve finished these 2 exercises, the last thing we would suggest is to remove the bolster or foam roller and then lay back flat on the floor with your palms up and arms out to the side. Do this for 3-5 minutes, letting your muscles relax and enjoying the space you’ve created.

These are three things you can do to relieve tension in your back and to improve the mobility in your upper spine. Enjoy! 

At Strand Fitness, our team of personal trainers specialize in fitness for the “slightly older” body. Our programs are designed to help you build a strong, healthy, and able body! With a complimentary, no-obligation fitness consultation, we’ll put a plan together and get you started on your fitness journey. Please contact me ( or 630-653-8152) or visit us online at

About Pam Strand

Pam Strand is the owner of Strand Fitness, a personal training studio in Downtown Wheaton, serving Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Winfield, & Chicago Western Suburbs. To learn more about how Strand Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact Pam (630 653 8152) and schedule your free fitness consultation. You can also learn more about our fitness solutions here:

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