Relieve Your Shoulder Tightness with Foam Rolling Exercises

Hands up, if there is anyone there who doesn’t suffer from shoulder tightness? No? I thought so, or you wouldn’t be reading my blog. 🙂black-rollers


The fact is that hunching over computers, laptops and smartphones all day long creates a never-ending reserve of shoulder tension. I’m a naturally flexible person and I barely stretch my lower body to stay limber, but I need to constantly work to relieve my shoulder tightness so I’m able to have a relatively pain-free existence.

People often resort to stretching to relieve their shoulder tension, but if you have trigger points in the muscles that surround your shoulder joints, it’s not going to do you much good. You can work with your trigger points manually if you know how, but doing self-myofascial release with a foam roller is an easy option.

Below is a good Youtube video form Elle Bieling from It shows you how to foam roll all the muscles surrounding your shoulder joint – deltoids, teres muscles, lats, heads of the pectoral muscles.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed when I’ve been working with my shoulders is that I really need to work all the muscles that surround the shoulder joint. For example, I have loads of trigger points in my deltoid muscles(!) and releasing them seems to improve my hunched posture immediately. It might even help with a frozen shoulder.

If you don’t already have your own foam roller, you can find one on Amazon. Click here!


  1. Satu

    I used to do some foam rolling when I was at the gym last year – mostly around my glutes, hips and legs (ITB etc), but haven’t done any since moving. I have a couple of those little balls you roll on but they aren’t quite as good.

    I probably need to get myself a roller given that I know how good they can be to break up / massage knots! I will put it on my ‘to-do’ list. Thanks for the reminder – it will surely help me feel less achey when I lie in bed!


    • Satu says:

      I mostly use my foam roller for upper body work, even though people usually use it to massage their legs.. That’s because it’s so difficult to reach my upper back – I have short arms! 🙂

  2. Aimee says:

    Satu I needed this today. I overworked my right arm a bit this weekend and I was going to google foam rolling exercises for the upper body. My right shoulder is pretty tight right now so this is perfect. I have been guilty of not stretching appropriately and not stretching at all. I’m improving and stretching daily. Thanks for this post.

    • Satu says:

      I must’ve read your mind, Aimee! I don’t much stretch my legs because I’m pretty flexible even without stretching, but upper body is a whole different tale..

  3. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! Good ideas! I use a hand towel for shoulder exercises. I also do dolphin pushups, which seem to loosen my shoulders up. I see people rolling around on those foam rolls. I also see people standing up against the corner of a wall or doorway rolling their back against the protruding corner. I’ve tried that and it feels pretty good, but it does make me feel a little like a kitty cat rubbing against something. 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Satu says:

      Foam rollers are handier than protruding corners, though I haven’t tried them yet. 🙂 Doing standard incline push ups makes my shoulders and neck tense , so I need to be very careful I don’t overdo them.

  4. MIz says:

    My mom NEEDS this.
    and she wont listen to me.
    maybe she will to you?

    • Satu says:

      I can tell your mom she needs to do these exercises, if you tell my mother she needs to exercise to stay in good condition in her 60’s!

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