Effective Lower and Upper Back Stretching Exercises

Our spine is one of the most important parts of our body. The spinal column is vital in enabling the body to stand straight. It is the support that is required by the body to stay erect.

However, the constant force of gravity and impact of our daily activities can cause wear and tear of the back muscles as well as the spinal column. To strengthen the muscles of the back and to increase its flexibility, it is important to do certain stretching exercise.

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Stretching exercises can help you enhance your physical fitness, ability to concentrate and learn, increase your mental faculties, help in physically relaxing the body, strengthen the joints, muscles and tendons, reduce chances of injury and soreness in the muscles of the back.

Stretching exercises are usually used for warming up and cooling down. However, overstretching should be avoided as it can cause more harm than good. Stretching is a vital part of some of the best back exercises. Lower back stretching exercises are especially beneficial for those who experience stiffness and tension in the lower back region.

Some of the most effective lower and upper back stretching exercises are:

  • Flexion. If you are experience a tight back, the simplest stretching exercise that you can perform is the flexion stretch. A flexion stretch is performed either in a seated or a standing position. To perform this stretch, you can stand straight and bend at the waist, stretching your arms out, trying to reach out to your feet. You can also perform this stretch while sitting. Sit straight on a chair and simply lean forwards with your arms outstretched, trying to touch your toes. The stretch should be comfortable. Try not to involve your leg and thigh muscles in the stretch.

  • Extension. The extension exercise is another simple way to stretch your lower back. Stand straight, bend your elbows and place your hands at your waist. From your waist, bend backwards to a point where it is comfortable to hold the stretch. Now come back to your original position and bend forwards.
  • Rotation. Another way to stretch your back is to rotate your trunk. Stand straight and bend your arms at the elbows, placing your hands on your waist. Now move your torso from side to side.
  • Lateral Flexion. In the lateral flexion stretch, stand straight and bend sideways, running your hand down the side of the leg. Bend sideways at the left side first and then come back to the center. Halt for a few seconds and then bend sideways to your right side.
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