The back is the area of the body where the weight of our personal and professional responsibilities is most reflected. Stress, bad postures, excessive exercise or lack of it and sudden movements generate pain that can send us directly to the doctor if we do not stretch this muscle area well and take good care of our back.
If you are one of those people whose back pain does not allow them to live in peace, or you simply want to avoid suffering back pain in the future, do not miss the article that we bring you next. Discover 10 exercises to stretch your back that will help you avoid injuries and that you can use, also, before and after training.
Exercises to stretch your upper back
The upper back area is composed of twelve vertebrae located below the neck, at the height of the arms. It is right in this area of the spine where the heart and lungs are located, which is why the structure of the ribs and the high back are designed to protect these vital organs.
However, since the arms are responsible for lifting objects, the dorsal column easily suffers. To avoid this, we recommend the following exercises to stretch your upper back:
It seems a simple exercise, but its effectiveness will depend on the technique of realization and the state of your back.
- To execute it, you must stand, place the spine as straight as possible and stretch your arms forward.
- Then, interlace the fingers and place the palm of the hands outward, as if you were 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 going to the next phase of the exercise.
- Now, interlace your fingers and stretch your arms up, placing your palms out again.
- At this point, you must press up and, at the same time, swing your arms slightly back so that each vertebra of your spine is stretched correctly and you can relieve the tension produced by the muscles in the area.
Your body will tell you how far you can take your arms extended, so that at any sign of pain, you should stop immediately. It is 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 high back stretch, you must lie on your stomach on a flat surface.
- Bend your knees to bring your ankles toward the buttocks. Stretch your arms back and take your ankles with your hands.
- Then, slowly move your head and your back, until you slightly lift your chest off the floor.
This position should be maintained 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 as not to carry your back more than you should.
This exercise is ideal for those who work in front of a computer during 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. Subsequently, flex your head forward slightly, so that your hands can touch your neck.
- With your fingers, locate the vertebra of the neck that stands out the most and place your crossed hands on it.
- Subsequently, inhale deeply and exhale slowly.
The flexion of the head allows your spine to expand and the vertebrae to decompress, so if you wonder how to stretch your upper back, this exercise cannot be missed.
Exercises for back and neck pain
When pain is experienced at neck height, people attribute it to stress or poor 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 should be performed slowly and combined with a deep breath. 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 performing stretching exercises frequently, we can make the small bones in the area 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 straight in a chair or armchair facing a mirror.
- Place your right arm over your head, placing your hand on your left ear.
- Now, slowly push your neck toward your right shoulder with the help of your hand. Remember that your shoulder should be relaxed and that the exercise should be performed slowly to avoid sudden movements.
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 such as the following, for which you will only need 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 neck) and take it at the ends, stretching your arms forward.
- Then, flex your neck back little by little and look up at the sky. Hold this position for 5 seconds to relax the vertebrae of the cervical area.
This simple exercise is useful for reducing pain that starts in the neck and extends to the back in different directions. It is a stretch of shoulders and neck that will relax you instantly and that you can perform several times a day in situations of stress or in which you feel uncomfortable.
- Start the exercise by 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 approximately 7 seconds and then direct the men back to their starting position.
You can perform around ten repetitions, always resting five seconds between each movement.
Shoulder Relaxation Exercise
The consequences of abrupt movements executed with the arms are reflected in the neck. For this reason, by relaxing the shoulders we can decrease the pressure and pain in the neck more easily.
- To achieve this, you must start standing, with your legs apart at the distance of your hips and with your knees slightly bent.
- Then, with your back straight, entwine your hands behind your back and move your arms up.
You can hold this position for 15 seconds and after resting 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 very intensely.
Back and lumbar stretch
The lower back or lower back is the part of the spine that has the greatest 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:
- Locate a mat or carpet on the floor and lie on your back.
- Subsequently, flex your legs and raise your knees to your chest.
- Perform at least 5 slow but deep breaths while in that position.
When you inhale and exhale, your spine will move and come into contact with the ground, thus allowing the lower back to expand and relieve your pain.
The bridge, or pelvic lift exercise allows a full stretch of the back, especially the dorsal-lumbar area. In addition, this exercise allows you to strengthen the buttocks; fundamental muscles that must be kept worked to withstand the movements of the pelvis.
- For its execution, start by lying on your back on a carpet or mat placed on the floor.
- Flex your legs leaving your feet on the floor a little apart. Then, extend your arms to the sides.
- Lift the pelvis off the floor while breathing deeply, until the body is resting on the dorsal area. Build strength 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 head off the floor. Nor should you help yourself with your arms, because then you would not be stretching the lower back. You can hold this position for 10 seconds and perform at least five repetitions.
Lumbar stretching: resting position
This back and lumbar stretching exercise provides immediate relief to those suffering from pain in this area.
- To start stretching, kneel and place your buttocks on your heels.
- Then stretch your arms forward and move gently forward until you bring your face to the floor. Remember to always keep your arms straight.
To deepen the feeling of relaxation, you can stay in this position for 30 seconds and repeat it about five times.