Middle Back Exercise: Rolling

This middle back exercise is to help people with middle back pain. Do it on a comfortable carpet or rug. If it hurts, don't do it at all. There will be more middle back exercises along soon.

As you get better at it, the roll should be smooth, at a constant speed (not jerky, no collapsing) and a peaceful, luxurious experience, like your dog or cat lying on its back with legs in the air for a bit of attention! The gentle twist helps the middle back to free up.

Lying down, face up:

Part 1:

Start to roll by sending your right knee over your left leg, then let your right hip lead the roll until you're face down. (What does "Head Leading" mean? See the Head Leading page to find out.)

Then, letting your head lead, roll back to your right until you're face up again.

Starting with your left knee, and letting your left hip lead this time, roll to the right until you're face down.

Then, to roll back to the centre, let your head lead and roll to the left again.

Part 2:

Letting your head lead, roll slowly to your left until you're face down.

Then, still letting your head lead, roll back to your right until you're face up again.

Still letting your head lead, roll to the right until you're face down.

Then, to roll back to the centre, let your head lead and roll to the right again.

Notice how you dip in and out of leading with the chosen body part.

With a friend:

A friend can help you by telling you whether you're really leading with your knee, hip or head. It's very easy for other parts to sneak in and try to lead!

Part 3:

If you have the space, roll over and over and over, then back again the way you've come, rolling the other way. But always slow, smooth, with the right part leading.

Why?

If you know which part of you leads a movement, it helps your body to organise better, and puts less strain on the whole system. Your middle back is very mobile, and is able to twist substantially when it is healthy. The very gentle twists in these rolls can help remind your middle back how it used to move before it was injured. If the movement hurts, don't do it yet. Focus on other exercises instead.

How Often?

Twice a day, but as often as you like.