Back Stretches

Your everyday lifestyle can drain you off all your energy and leave you feeling tired and fatigued. If you follow a sedentary lifestyle, the muscles in your back become stressed and tense.

Over a period of time, the muscles present in the back can lead to severe neck, shoulder, and back pain. If necessary precautions are not taken the eventually increase the risk of long term damage and injuries to your back.

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Back stretches are relatively easy to perform. There are a lot of back stretches in yoga, which you can perform right at home or at a fitness studio. The Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) is one of the best fitness routines when you want to perform a back stretch. There are a lot of postures in this pose, and performing the sun salutation can give you an overall workout for your body.One of the most popular middle back stretches is the Spinal Twist. Just like its name suggests, this exercise is performed when you turn from side to side and rotate yourself on your waist. The middle of the back stretches with each rotation and you can feel the stretch in your muscles.

Back Stretches For Back Pain

Before performing back stretches for back pain, always consult a doctor. Since back pain could be caused by a lot of different reasons, it is important to first identify the cause so that you do not inadvertently hurt yourself when you stretch. Back flexion exercises can help stretch the tensed muscles and provide immediate relief. When you continue to perform these stretches, the pain can eventually cease completely. There are some yoga exercises that can help you work your back muscles in an effective manner. You can include some upper back stretches and low back stretches like the Balasana (Child Pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) or a Spinal Twist. These work on your upper as well as lower back, and also take care of any pain that you may have in your back.

Back Stretches For Pregnant Women

Yoga has long been recommended for pregnant women. Back pain is something that all pregnant women experience at some point in their pregnancy. As their belly becomes bigger and the center of gravity shifts, the back pain may become more intense. To improve your balance and to stretch and treat your back muscles, you can perform some simple yoga poses. However, do make sure that you take the advice of your doctor before you begin with the stretches on your own. The rocking back arch is one of the best back stretches for pregnant women. You can also use an exercise ball to stretch while reasserting your new center of balance. You may even choose to join a special yoga class meant for pregnant women. These classes are ideal because they modify the yoga classes to suit you better.

Some of the easier yoga back stretches the you can perform without any specific training include the Cat Cow stretches, Urdhva Mukha Savanasana (Downward Facing Dog), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Urdhva Hasthasana (Raised Arms Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose), and finally, to rest your stretched back, perform the Savasana (Corpse Pose).

Back Stretches At Work

There are ways to perform back stretches at work as well. If you are a sedentary worker, performing yoga back stretches can help you prevent unnecessary strain. If you feel the strain building up in your back you can begin with the simple neck rolls. As you roll your neck from side to side, you can feel some of the tension easing out of the neck and upper back. When you are finished with the neck rolls, move to the Seated Forward Bend. You can perform this pose while sitting in your chair at your desk. However, when performing this at your desk, make sure that you bend at your hips and that there is enough space between your chair and your desk so that you do not bang your head or injure yourself. If you have a revolving chair, you can also perform the Seated Spinal Twist, but do not twist too much as you may end up hurting yourself if you twist more than what is necessary.

Types Of Back Stretches

Sun Salutation:

It is one of the best stretches. With this stretch, you can work all your muscles and stretch all of your body.

  1. Start by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
  2. Keep your feet hip width apart and fold your hands in front of you.
  3. In a quick, fluid motion, bring your arms above your head and stretch them backwards to make an arch.
  4. Exhale and bend forward, bringing your hands to rest besides your feet. To achieve this, you may have to bend your knees slightly.
  5. Now take in a deep breath and step your right leg backwards, coming into a lunging position.
  6. Exhale and step your left leg backwards as well.
  7. Hold this position for a few seconds and take in a deep breath.
  8. Bring your body back to the ground and lie down flat as if coming down from pushups.
  9. Take in another deep breath, and stretch your upper body upwards.Lift your torso using your arms and bend backwards till it is comfortable.
  10. Exhale and lift your hips up pushing them backwards. Take in a deep breath and bring your right foot in front.
  11. Exhale and bring your left foot to meet the other one, and come into the head-to-knee position once again.
  12. Take in a deep breath and bring your arms upwards, stretching them above and pulling them behind your head.

  13. Exhale and bring your arms back in front of your chest in the Namaskar Mudra.

Torso twists:

It also strengthen your back and your waist. Performing these is relatively simple.

  1. Begin by standing on a bench and planting your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Keep your back straight. To make this a little easier, keep a long bar on your shoulders and with your hands, hold the bar.
  3. Now balancing the bar on your shoulders, turn towards your right side from your waist.
  4. Turn your torso as far as it would go. Come back into position and repeat on the other side.
  5. This is a great back stretch that also stretches your lower abdominal muscles.

Lat Dorsi Stretch:

It is a simple stretch that is often left out of most stretching routines.

  1. To perform this, stand with your back straight and raise your arms above your head. Try to reach up as high as possible.
  2. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds. There are some variations to this stretch. You can try raising one arm at a time and stretching your sides as you do it.

Back Arch Stretch:

It is another simple stretch that can be performed anywhere.

  1. Start by standing straight with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Place both your hands on your waist and gently begin to bend backwards till your body is in an arch.
  2. Keep your balance by shifting your weight from one foot to another. 

Rotation Stretch:

  1. Start by sitting straight with your back straight against a tall chair.
  2. Cross your arms against your chest and turn your body towards the left side till you experience a gentle stretch in your torso. Follow this by turning your head towards the left side.
  3. Keep stretching till it is comfortable for you. Return to the position you started out with and repeat on the right side.

This is a spine twist exercise that twists your entire back and the spine.

Standing Cat Stretch:

To perform this stretch,

  1. Stand straight with the feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your knees and slowly arch your back, bending as high as much as you can.
  2. Hold this position for 3 to 5 seconds and return to your starting position. Repeat as many times as you wish.

Knees To Chest Position:

It is also very simple. It is one of the positions from the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).

  1. Begin by standing straight, with your back completely erect.
  2. Bend from your hips and keep bending till your knees are against your chest. Place your hands next to your feet.
  3. Try not to bend your knees and feel the stretch in your back as well as your legs.
  4. If you have tightness and stress in your lower back, begin by lying down straight.
  5. Raise your legs and bring your legs to a 90 degree angle with your hips.
  6. Now, moving your legs while keeping them in the position, bring them to the right side.
  7. Twist your body so that the legs are touching the ground. Repeat that on the other side.

Balasana or The Child's Pose:

It is a yoga pose that helps you stretch your thighs as well as your back. To perform this pose,

  1. Sit on your knees, keeping both your feet pressed together and resting your buttocks on the heels of your feet.
  2. Place both your hands on your thighs. Now slowly extend your arms ahead, placing the palms on the floor.
  3. Stretch your torso, following your arms. Rest your forehead on the floor and bring your arms backwards, placing them along your sides.
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