Thoracic Spine Extension with Foam Roller

Maintain and improve thoracic mobility and improve posture with a foam roller and the Thoracic Spine Extension exercise.

Primary Muscle Back
Secondary Muscle(s) Chest
Difficulty Beginner
Equipment Foam roller

Thoracic Spine Extension Guide

The thoracic spine is one of the five segments of the spinal column, encompassing the shoulder and chest area.

It's essential that you maintain thoracic mobility to avoid poor posture, and unsightly rounded shoulders which can eventually lead to back pain or acute injury. 

Thankfully, thoracic mobility can be easily maintained and improved using a foam roller and the thoracic spine extension exercise, as described below. 

How to do the Thoracic Spine Extension

This exercise will help stretch out the chest and back muscles, relieve muscular tension and maintain thoracic mobility. 

  1. Put the foam roller under your upper back / thoracic spine. Keep your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. 
  2. Place your hands behind your head and pull your elbows as close together as they'll go. 
  3. Let your head fall to the floor and try to wrap yourself around the foam roller, extending the thoracic spine over the roller. 
  4. Roll, slowly up and down the vertebrae, pausing on any painful parts (do not roll the neck or lower back, focussing solely on the thoracic spine).


Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise.