The primary action of your lumbar spine is to flex and extend.  Reminding the lumbars of what they are mechanically built to do helps us absorb and distribute forces through the entire spine more effortlessly.  Try this foam roller exercise to open the lumbar region of the spine and tells us about your results by emailing!

  • Let’s set a “before” movement to assess whether or not we are doing what we intend to do…
    • Lying on the mat, place your feet on the wall in a chair position and bridge up 4-6 times.  Notice how your spine feels, where you sense movement and stagnation.


  • Lie on your foam roller with your bare feet up against the wall in the same chair position
  • Be sure the roller is under the entire length spine, including the skull
  • Imagine your pelvis as a compass:

    Lie on the foam roller with your feet on the wall in chair position

North = pubis bone

South = belly button

East = right hip bone

West = left hip bone

  • Inhale and roll into your North point, ranging the lumbars into extension
  • Exhale and roll into your South point, ranging the lumbars into flexion


  • Exhale and roll to your East point, allow gravity to help the right femur bone to drop deeply into the hip socket
  • Inhale as you roll to your West point, encouraging the left femur bone into joint congruency


  • Now roll from North to East to South to West, in a circular, fluid motion 4-6 times
  • Repeat the pelvic compass in the opposite direction for another seamless 4-6 repetitions
  • Rock one more time from North to South, allow South to initiate a full bridge on the roller by stepping your footprints into the wall.  Keep your hands on the floor.

    Slowly bridge up and down

  • Bridge up off of the roller for another 4-6 repetitions.  Each time you descend back to the roller, slow down more and more so that gravity can help you strike one vertebral body at a time onto the roller
  • Now perform your “before” movement again.  Do you sense any changes in the range of motion of your spine after having performed the pelvic compass and bridges on the foam roller?


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Written on October 13th, 2015 ,


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