Back stretches help relieve lower or upper back pain, and can strengthen it at the same time. Read the FitnessVigil article to find specific stretches for lower and upper back.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Before we get to the best stretches for your back, let me ask you a question – why would someone perform back strengthening and stretching exercises? Many times, what happens is that people complain about experiencing lower and/or upper back pain. Perhaps this is due to a particular line of work they do or bad posture. The reasons can be many but the main part to focus on is to relieve this back pain without the help of medication. And that’s where the back stretches come into play. As everyday lifestyle can put a lot of pressure on our back muscles, the tension in those muscles can have an adverse effect on our back.
Stretches for Lower Back
These stretches will not only help strengthen your lower back, but also work on the muscles in your abdomen, hamstrings, and buttocks. While doing the stretches, do keep in mind not to overdo them or you might just aggravate the pain.
Vertical Hip Flexor Stretch
- Place an exercise mat on the floor, and stand on it.
- Stand straight, and keep feet hip-width apart.
- Now bend your right leg, and bring it closer to your right buttock.
- Hold the leg with the right hand, and stay there for 10 seconds.
- Release the hold and come back to starting position.
- Repeat the same steps on the left leg now.
- Do this stretch every hour during the day.
Pelvic Tilt Stretch
- Place an exercise mat on the floor, and lie down on it.
- Stay on your back, bent knees, and feet planted flat on floor.
- Keep your knees at about 90º angle, and hands on your sides.
- Inhale once, and as you exhale, press down the small of your back in the mat.
- Don’t put a lot of pressure on the feet as you do so.
- Hold this position for 5 counts, and release.
- Take a break of 5 seconds, and repeat. Do at least 10 repetitions during the day.
Stretches for Upper Back
If you happen to sit in front of computer for more than 7 to 8 hours, issues with you back and neck are evident. But you don’t need to suffer the pain. A simple solution is to perform these stretches.
- Place an exercise mat, and stand on it with feet hip-width apart.
- Like a karate chop, extend your right hand in the front.
- With your left hand, you will twist it around the right one from under.
- With your left hand, hold your right thumb; make sure left hand reaches close to the right thumb.
- Keep right hand extended. Now slowly, bend both arms from the elbows.
- Stop when they point towards the ceiling, and hold for 2 minutes.
- Release the hold, and alternate hands. Do this stretch at least 5 to 10 times during the day.
Hanging Chin Ups Stretch
- For this stretch, you will need to do a regular hanging chin up.
- The only difference is that when you come back down, instead of beginning another chin up, hold.
- You will hold this position for about 15 seconds or so.
- This way, your upper back and the entire upper body gets a great stretch.
- Do this stretch at least 10 to 15 times during the day
As you do these stretches for the back, you will notice gradually that you have increased your flexibility in the back, and the pain has also reduced considerably.