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Recovery Exercises For When You’re Tired And Everything Hurts

Move One: Rib Length Assess

a) Rest your shoulder blades on the roller. Bring your arms in front of you and “punch” toward the ceiling.

b) If you are in the right place, you should feel your shoulder blades tap the top of the roller as you move your arms.

c) Place your hands behind your head for support and bend your knees. Press your feet into the floor, lift your hips and return your hips to the floor.

d) Breathe in, and then on the exhale, allow only your ribs to extend over the roller and open your breastbone toward the ceiling. Take a focused breath into your ribs and notice the length you are able to create. Breathe in, and then on the exhale, curl your ribs back to the starting position. Your spine will press into the roller. Repeat 2–3 times. Are you able to move your ribs without moving your low back or neck?

e) Do NOT go this far back. When you perform this correctly, the low back and neck curves will remain in the same position as you move your ribs.

f) From the extended position, breathe in, and then on the exhale, slowly side bend your ribs to the left to assess the right side. Inhale and notice if your ability to take a full breath is inhibited. Repeat on the other side. Repeat one more time on each side.

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Nicki Miller

Nicki Miller

Nicki Miller is the managing editor for Women's Running and spearheads our nutrition coverage. She’s an avid runner but also loves cycling (both on and off-road), yoga and all kinds of crazy videos to do at home. Formerly the editor of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, Nicki started her journalism career at The Washington Post. Her first races were duathlons (run, bike, run) in her twenties with her husband, and then triathlons, completing the White Lake Half Ironman in North Carolina. Since joining Women’s Running in 2013, she’s been more focused on half marathons and trail running. Some of her proudest moments have been running the Boston Marathon (first 26.2), and becoming an RRCA certified running coach and helping others take up the sport.