The back is the area of the body where the weight of our personal and professional responsibilities is most reflected. Stress, poor posture, excessive or lack of exercise, and sudden movements cause pain that can send us straight to the doctor if we don't stretch this muscular area well and take proper care of our back.
If you are one of those people for whom back pain does not let them live in peace, or you simply want to avoid suffering from back pain in the future, do not miss the article that we bring you below.
Upper back stretching exercises
The upper back area is made up of twelve vertebrae located below the neck, at the height of the arms. It is right in this area of the spine that the heart and lungs are located, which is why the structure of the ribs and upper back are designed to protect these vital organs.
However, as the arms are responsible for lifting objects, the dorsal column suffers easily. To avoid this, we recommend the following exercises to stretch your upper back:
It seems like a simple exercise, but its effectiveness will depend on the technique used and the state of your back.
- To execute it, you must stand up, place your spine as straight as possible and stretch your arms out in front.
- Then interlock your fingers and turn your palms outward, as if you were going to push an object. Hold that pressure for 15 seconds.
- After this time, slowly return your arms to their starting position and repeat this stretch about three more times before moving on to the next phase of the exercise.
- Now interlock your fingers and stretch your arms up, palms facing out again.
- At this point, you must press upwards and, at the same time, swing your arms slightly backwards so that each vertebra of your spine stretches correctly and you can relieve the tension produced by the muscles in the area.
Your body will tell you how far you can extend your arms, so at any sign of pain, you should stop immediately. It's also an ideal warm-up exercise, so do it before and after your workout.
Snake with support
This exercise is perfect for those people who for long periods of time remain in difficult positions that make them arch their spine .
- To perform this upper back stretch, you need to lie on your stomach on a flat surface.
- Bend your knees to bring your ankles toward your buttocks. Stretch your arms behind you and grab your ankles with your hands.
- Then, slowly move your head and back backwards, until your chest is slightly off the ground.
This position should be held for about 5 seconds before returning to the starting position. You can repeat this exercise up to ten times as long as it is comfortable for you. Again, practice this stretch during your workouts so you don't put too much stress on your back.
This exercise is ideal for those who work in front of a computer for long hours of the day. To do it, you only need a table and a chair or bench.
- Sit in front of the table and place your elbows on it. Later, flex your head forward slightly, so that your hands can touch the back of your neck.
- With your fingers, locate the neck vertebra that sticks out the most and place your crossed hands on it.
- Then take a deep breath in and exhale slowly.
Head bending allows your thoracic spine to expand and the vertebrae to decompress, so if you're wondering how to stretch your upper back, this exercise is a must.
Exercises for back and neck pain
When neck pain is experienced, people attribute it to stress or a bad movement. Although these are usually the most common causes, there are various pathologies that can cause pain in this area of the body. For this reason, all movements must be performed slowly and combined with deep breathing . Here are some options for back and neck exercises to relieve back and neck pain:
The seven vertebrae that make up the cervical spine are easily compressed, so by frequently performing stretching exercises, we can get the small bones in the area to return to their place . To perform a good spine stretch, we present this back and cervical exercise:
- The first step of this exercise is to sit up straight in a chair or couch facing a mirror.
- Bring your right arm over your head, placing your hand over your left ear.
- Now slowly push your neck towards your right shoulder with the help of your hand. Remember that your shoulder should be relaxed and that the exercise should be done slowly to avoid sudden movements.
Here is a video on how to perform this stretch, so follow the steps carefully to avoid possible injury. If you want to discover other ways to relax your neck , don't miss this other article from OneHOWTO.
Release tension in the neck
In situations of stress and/or anxiety, the neck becomes stiff and, consequently, can cause discomfort. To release this tension, we recommend some back and neck exercises like the following, for which you will only need a towel and a comfortable bench.
- Sit in front of the mirror with your back as straight as possible.
- Place the extended towel at the base of the skull (slightly above the nape of the neck) and take it by the ends, stretching your arms forward.
- Then slowly bend your neck backwards and look up at the sky. Hold this position for 5 seconds to relax the vertebrae in the cervical area.
This exercise is also perfect to avoid back pain in the future, as doing it before and after training will help you gain flexibility and resistance in the area.
This simple exercise is helpful in reducing pain that starts in the neck and spreads to the back in different directions. It is a shoulder and neck stretch that will relax you instantly and that you can do several times a day in situations of stress or in which you feel uncomfortable.
- Begin the execution of the exercise standing or sitting in a comfortable chair, with your back straight.
- Next, shrug your shoulders as if you were going to touch your ears with them.
- Hold the position for about 7 seconds, then lead the men back to their starting position.
You can do about ten repetitions, always resting five seconds between each movement.
Exercise to relax the shoulders
The consequences of sudden movements made with the arms are reflected in the neck. For this reason, by relaxing the shoulders we can reduce the pressure and pain in the neck more easily.
- To achieve this, you should start standing with your legs hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Then, keeping your back straight, clasp your hands behind your back and move your arms up.
You can hold this position for 15 seconds and then rest for five more seconds before repeating the exercise to relax your shoulders 4 more times. You should always remember that the purpose of these exercises is to stretch your back and neck, so the important thing is to perform each stretch well , not to do them many times in a very intense way.
Back and lumbar stretching
The lower back or lumbar area is the part of the spine that has the most mobility, which means that it is also the most prone to injury. To maintain your mobility and good health, you can exercise your back, specifically your lower back, as follows:
- Place a mat or rug on the floor and lie on your back.
- Subsequently, bend your legs and raise your knees until you bring them to your chest.
- Take at least 5 slow but deep breaths while you are in that position.
As you inhale and exhale, your spine will move and come into contact with the ground, thus expanding your lower back and relieving your pain.
The bridge, or pelvic lift exercise allows a complete stretching of the back, especially that of the dorsal-lumbar area. In addition, this exercise allows you to strengthen the glutes; essential muscles that must be kept worked to support the movements of the pelvis.
- To perform it, start by lying on your back on a rug or mat placed on the floor.
- Bend your legs leaving your feet on the ground a little apart. Next, extend your arms out to the sides.
- Raise your pelvis off the ground as you breathe deeply, until your body is supported on your back. Make force with your buttocks to better withstand the exercise and not overload the back area.
When you do this exercise, keep in mind that you should not lift your shoulders or your head off the ground. You shouldn't help yourself with your arms either, because then you wouldn't be stretching your lower back. You can hold this position for 10 seconds and perform at least five repetitions.
Lumbar stretch: resting position
This back and lumbar stretching exercise provides immediate relief to those who suffer from pain in this area.
- To start the stretch, kneel down and place your buttocks on your heels.
- Then stretch your arms forward and gently move forward, bringing your face to the ground. Remember to always keep your arms stretched out.
To deepen the feeling of relaxation, you can stay in this position for 30 seconds and repeat it about five times.
We remind you that these exercises to stretch your back are not only useful for relieving temporary pain, but they are also ideal for preventing future injuries and for warming up and stretching after a back workout.