Foam rolling the shoulders can drastically improve someone’s posture as well as speed up recovery from injury. We put so much pressure on our shoulders and upper back, not just physically but also emotionally, throughout our day to day lives that it is not uncommon to experience pain in this area. The muscles that make up the shoulder and attach to the shoulder blade, upper arm and collar bone are used in most arm movements.

Foam Roller Rules

  • Move foam roller slowly over the desired muscle

  • When you find a tender spot, work the area a bit longer

  • Try to move with your breath, the rhythm is relaxing

  • Don’t foam roll-over injuries or broken skin

  • If the pain is severe stop; foam rolling can hurt a little but should not hurt a lot

How to Foam Roll the Shoulders

Trapezius (top) of shoulders

  1. Lie on your back and put your feet flat on the ground.

  2. Place the foam roller underneath you, right on top of your shoulders.

  3. Tighten your core and lift your tailbone off the floor, increasing pressure on the foam roller.

  4. Gently apply pressure and lean from side to side.

  5. Repeat until pain or soreness dissipates.

Lateral (side) shoulders

  1. Lie on your side with the foam roller underneath your right shoulder. Your lower body can be resting on the ground comfortably with your left arm out in front to guide the movement.

  2. Roll slowly up and down over your deltoid muscle. Rotate your trunk slightly so you can hit part of your upper back as well if needed.

  3. Repeat for 30 seconds.

  4. Switch sides to target the left shoulder too.

When do I know that my Shoulders need foam rolling?

If pain is felt in the shoulders, foam rolling this area can help reduce this. A lot of emotional stress and worry can contribute to shoulder pain so using a foam roller to ease this tension can help with pain management.

Hope you find this helpful and can utilise some tips if you are struggling with shoulder pain,

Take care and have a lovely week,


BSc Hons Sports Therapy MSST

MSc Strength and Conditioning





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