Improve your back's flexibility with a daily stretching routine.
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Your back is made of muscles, the rib cage and spine. It is designed to move in many directions: forward, backward and twisting. When you want to improve the flexibility in your back, choose exercises that use these various positions, will stretch the muscles that pull against the ribs and the spine, and that do not cause discomfort. Back flexibility exercises feel good and provide relief if you are dealing with back pain, but always check with your physician before you begin a stretching routine if you have a pre-existing back condition.1.
Warm your back muscles before you begin your flexibility exercises. Spend five to 10 minutes doing full-body movements including walking, marching in place, dancing, stair climbing or cycling.2.
Perform back stretches that round your spine and tuck your hips forward. For example, use stretches such as bringing your knees to chest, doing a standing forward bend, pelvic tilts and maintaining the crunch position of a situp to stretch your back in a rounded position.3.
Include back stretches that extend your spine, or press your hips backward. Do lying back extensions with your elbows on the floor, and elongating stretches, in which you lie flat with your arms overhead and arch your back.4.
Rotate your spine for improved side to side movement. Do this with stretches such as seated rotations, in which you turn to the side and look over your shoulder, or lying rotated stretches, in which you lie face up and rest one or both knees to your side.5.
Stretch your upper back and improve its flexibility by squeezing your shoulder blades together and then rounding your shoulders forward.6.
Maintain each back stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the stretch two to four times.7.
Breathe normally and deeply as you hold still and stretch. As you exhale, aim to sink a little deeper into the position.
- Repeat your stretches at least three times a week to see improvements in your flexibility.
- Take each stretch to the point where you feel mild tension in the muscles, but not to the point of pain.