Whether you’re sitting in front of a computer all day or going all out at the gym, your back muscles often take a beating. In addition to a few knots, back pain can significantly hinder your performance at work, your recovery time, and your workouts.
Fortunately, there is an inexpensive solution that can be applied practically anywhere: using a chirp wheel !
Foam rolling is essentially a DIY massage and is great for cramped back muscles from workouts or sitting too much. It is often used by physical therapists and athletes to break down fibrous tissue (hello knots!), Improve circulation, and relieve adhesions (which create points of weakness in your tissues). It has also been found to reduce delayed muscle soreness and increase range of motion.
Reading tip: Why use a chirp wheel?
Since foam rolling has become popular, many people have started using it at random – when they have a knot. Because all the muscles in the body are interconnected – especially when dealing with the back and spinal roll incorrectly – injuries can actually worsen. Slow down your roll as you reach for that chirp wheel.
Below are some common mistakes to avoid:
Rolling too fast
A common mistake in use is rolling too fast. It may feel good at first, but in the end it does little to eliminate adhesions. Instead, slow down on your rolls so your muscles have time to adjust to the change in compression – then begin to relax.
Reading tip: Is using a chirp wheel safe and healthy?
Roll directly (and only) on painful areas
It may be tempting to roll directly onto a painful area, but the site of the tension is usually the result of an imbalance elsewhere. Therefore, it is recommended to roll a few inches around the site of the pain, then use large swipes all over the area.
Exercises for back pain
With this concept in mind, there are five exercises that will relieve your back pain:
1. Glute Roll
The piriformis is a muscle located deep in the gluteal muscles. It connects to the lower back, making rolling this area an excellent way to indirectly relieve lower back pain.
To start, place the chirp wheel under your glutes. Bring your right leg up and rest your right ankle above your left knee. Slowly roll through your right hip and glutes and repeat on the other side.
2. Upper back roll
At work, do you sit at a desk all day? If so, the upper back stiffness, knots and poor posture have definitely crept in at some point. This roll is excellent for massaging those kinks.
To start, lie back on your roller – with the roller in the center of your back. Cross your arms across your chest – with your butt still touching the ground – stretch back across the roll. Try to hit the top of your head to the floor behind you. You can continue by moving the roller higher until you reach your mid-upper back.
3. Chest roll
It may seem pointless to roll out the chest muscles if you experience tightness in your upper back. But it is essential to really correct the source of the stiffness. Pain in the upper back and on the shoulders is often experienced as a result of shortened, tense chest muscles – caused by spending the entire day at the computer. They make you feel like the problem is your shoulders …
To perform the chest roll, lie face down, with your roll position just below your armpit, and one arm extended forward. Press your chest into the roll, roll back and forth and repeat on the other side. Women should be careful about avoiding breast tissue.
4. Lat Roll
The slats are another area that can get tight as they are bent forward all day. To release this pressure, place your roller under your armpit while lying on one side. With your arm stretched out in front of you, roll it up and down the side of your back. Work from your armpit to the end of your rib cage, pausing in any tight spots.
5. Lower back roll
Lower back pain is one of the most common sources of chronic pain, especially as you get older. That’s why you’ve probably (more than once) seen someone in the gym roll out their lower back; however, you don’t want to do this. This is because most lower back pain is caused by a mechanical disturbance in the alignment of the spine (e.g., the muscle discs and nerves), not muscle cramps or adhesions (2).
Instead, try rolling the hip flexors, like in the photo above. They connect to the lumbar spine. Also, make sure to focus on the glute roll mentioned earlier.
Drop your hips face down on the chirp wheel and fully extend the legs. Lean to the side where you want to work and use the toes on your opposite leg for balance. Repeat this on the other side.
Once you start using it, you will likely look forward to it, as a refreshing end to a vigorous workout, or as an easy way to ease tension.