How To Foam Roll Your Upper Back

Improve Upper Back Mobility

Written by Mitch Starkman

November 6, 2017

The thoracic spine (known as your “upper backâ€) is one of the most forgotten about parts of the body! We spend so much time on our devices or sitting slouched in chairs that we are LITERALLY folded forwards for most of the day. To regain proper form in your back, we need to move it into extension. It’s time to learn exactly how to perform an upper back foam roll exercise. 


Grab a foam roller and place it perpendicular to your spine – roughly at the base of your shoulder blades. Now extend your head and shoulders back over the arch until you feel a comfortable stretch, and then return to neutral.


Hang out in one spot for as long as you feel a stretch. As you feel it fade, shift the roll down your spine. Spend a total of 5 minutes per day in this position. Look at you go, you’re foam rolling your upper back!

Check Out The Foam Roller We Recommend

This is an essential tool in your toolbox when it comes to keeping your body healthy. Essentially, it is your own personal massage therapist.

There is a whole array of different brands and price ranges when it comes to foam rollers, with a variety of densities to increase (or decrease) the pressure and sizes. 

We recommend the TRIGGER POINT ROLLER as we’ve found it to be the best quality. It is at a slightly higher price point than others, but we’ve yet to find one that can match its durability and overall quality. 


Video Transcript

Some people prefer to read and we’ve got you covered!

Hey guys, welcome to the movement library. But we’ve compiled mobility, strength and corrective exercises so that you can move like you mean it.

So today I’m demonstrating how to foam roll your upper back. So this is pretty relevant to pretty well every human being out there because we tend to sit a lot like this and like this and like this in most of our daily life now.

So this is probably the most relevant exercises that I think everybody should be doing. So what you need for this is a foam roll and what are you going to do is place this down on the ground. You’re going to work this from the bottom of your shoulder blades to the top of your shoulder blades. Now for for women and good landmark to start as about that bottom part of your bra strap.

For guys based the shoulder blades, we tend to be a little bit Bonior. Now you’re going to sneak down here. First thing I want you to do is get your hands cupped in a sort of fan position like this behind your head.

 Elbows in tight, and you’re gonna just roll back and forth. So you’re rolling up the top, your shoulder blades back down, back up, back down, really warm up these tissues. Now once you’ve done that, what you’re gonna do is place your bum down on the ground after you’ve worn out for about 30 seconds, interlace those fingers behind your head. Elbows tucked in tight, and you’re gonna extend back. Come back up, extend back up, and extend just to the point where you feel the stretch. The big mistake I see a lot of people do is they tend to arch their lower back and they think, look how awesome I am. And I think you look like that sucks.

So what you gotta do is pin that bump down, get yourself locked in with those elements and just the point where you feel that stretch come back up, feel a stretch, come back up.

Once you work this range and you feel about five to six pumps in that area, it’s feeling better. You’re going to move your butt further down and go to the next area back up and down, up and back down. Just the point where you feel that stretch. So for this one, again, working through that mid back here, you’re going to get your ruler sneaking in from the top.

Bomb your shoulder blades up to the top of the shoulder blades. Have a good time with that. If you guys have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We’re happy to answer them. Don’t forget to like us if you like it, subscribe. If you want to see more awesome videos from our movement libraries, some of the other stuff we have, and of course move like you mean it.

Thanks a lot guys.


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