Release tension from your muscles and increase recovery with a foam roller session. Do this while you're watching TV or directly after your workout.

Upper-back

You can even use a foam roller before you work out to help break up scar tissue, get fresh oxygenated blood to your muscles.

Benefits of using a foam roller:

✓ Reduces joint pain and inflammation
✓ Improves circulation
✓ Improves flexibility
✓ Acts as a massage at home

Exercise one: Upper back (thoracic spine)
Start: Rest your back against the roller positioned underneath your shoulder blades. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor. Lift your butt and place your hands behind your head.

Roll: Keeping your core muscles tight, slowly roll forward and back so that the roller moves up and down between the middle of your back and the top of your shoulder blades.

Tip: Don't tilt your head forward to look at your legs as you roll – this may place stress on the spine. Keep your head and neck in line with your back at all times and your eyes up.

Words/workout: Nikki Fogden-Moore (pictured)

Photographer: Keith Hamlyn