You can purchase a Foam Roller here.

For all its simplicity, the Foam Roller is a very versatile and effective piece of exercise equipment.

The Foam Roller is a four foot long foam tube with a diameter of about six inches, and it has so many varied uses that you can take a whole class doing exercises just with the Foam Roller. Many gyms and Pilates studio offer such classes, and I use this piece of gear constantly in my own studio.

The uses range from flexibility to balance to hard core strength building exercises. What you can do with this long piece of foam really is endless. This Foam Roller is not only effective but very inexpensive, which is a huge plus these days. They run anywhere from $20 to $30 dollars at the most. And for this low price (they last a long time and are very sturdy), you can improve mobility, performance, nuero-muscular efficiency, and balance and relieve muscle stiffness.

In this post, I want to focus on the exercises and poses on the Foam Roller that will open and release the body.

The Foam Roller when used as a vehicle for opening and lengthening is only effective if used consistently (this may sound familiar!). Try using the Roller on a regular basis (every day) to reverse the effects of our daily living. The stretches on the Foam Roller will help you actively and effectively reverse your rounded shoulders and forward tilted head. It will not hurt to use the Roller everyday — but as always, listen to your body. If you are doing an opening or stretch and your body is screaming at you to STOP, then you should always listen. More is not better when you are experiencing pain. Your muscles will grip and get tighter if you force your body to do things it is unable to do. So please be aware of your body during these exercises. If you spend a short time on the roller each day, you will start to notice less tightness and an overall feeling of wellness. If we are kind and compassionate to our bodies, our bodies will return the favor — I guarantee it!

Here are some simple but powerful Pilates Foam Roller lengthening and opening exercises.


Start with your Foam Roller on your mat. It should be positioned parallel long ways in the center of your mat.

Sit down at one end of the Roller with the feet on the floor, your knees bent, and your tailbone at the end of the Roller. Use the hands on the floor to guide you as you slowly lower yourself down onto your back one vertebra at a time until the spine is balanced on the Roller. At this point, the head to the tail should be supported on the Roller.

Try to find your balance and your center even though there will be a bit of wobbliness.

If the chin is pointing toward the ceiling and the back of the neck is compressed, put a folded towel or small pillow under the head. This will help to draw the chin toward the chest and to lengthen the back of the neck.


This is a very simple and passive stretch but can be very intense for a lot of people.

• Keep the spine in a neutral position on the Foam Roller and bring the arms to the sides of the body with the palms up to the ceiling.
• You may already feel a mild to intense stretch in this pose depending on your level of tightness.
• If this is already an intense stretch, just hold for one minute or less.
• After one minute or less, roll off the Foam Roller and rest.
• If you are okay in this beginning position, hold for two to three minutes and move on to exercise B.


• Keep the torso balanced on the Foam Roller.
• Keep the spine and pelvis neutral and bring the arms by the head in a wide V position.
• Ideally the hands will comfortably reach the floor. If not, place (have a friend help if possible) folded towels or yoga blocks under the hands.
• Hold for 2 to 3 minutes allowing the body to relax and open.
• If you are feeling a comfortable opening, you can move to exercise C. If not, come off the Roller and continue on tomorrow.


• Again keep the torso balanced and bring the arms closer together so they are shoulder distance apart.
• You want to make sure the shoulders are staying away from the ears at this point.
• You also want to make sure that the mid back is anchored into the Roller and the front ribs are not popping toward the ceiling.
• Hold for 2 to 3 minutes.
• If you are still feeling a comfortable stretch, you can move on to exercise D. If not, come off the Roller and continue tomorrow.


• Bring the arms to a right angle to your body and bend the elbows to a 90-degree angle.
• Bring the arms to the floor. If they are unable to reach the floor, (have a friend help you) place folded towels or yoga blocks under the elbows and hands.
• You should feel the stretch in the shoulders and across the chest.
• Hold for 2 to 3 minutes.

To get off the Roller, you want to rock off the side of it in a very relaxed manner, using the hands and feet to guide and stabilize you. Once off the Roller and on your side, use your top hand to push up into a seated position.

To purchase a Foam Roller, visit our Store here.

We hope you enjoyed these exercises! Tell us what you thought below!

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