Stretches Series: How to Stretch Your Back
When it comes to stretching, there's a lot that you need to know. Whether you're doing it before you exercise, after, instead of, even as your full workout; it doesn't matter. One of the most important things that matters, however, is learning how to stretch your back.
You probably don't need us to tell you, but your back is responsible for a whole load of different things. Pretty much everything you can move in your entire body is connected to it in some way. There are tonnes of different muscles in there, and because of that, it's vital you learn how to use them all properly. That's where stretches come in.
Stretching is important for every muscle group when it comes to general health, flexibility and recovery, especially when weight training is going to be involved in your workouts. That's why we've picked these awesome examples to help you nail it every single time you try it.
Let's walk through some:
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- Spinal Stretch
- Cat-Camel Back Stretch
- Lower Back Rotation Stretch
- Mermaid Stretch
- Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This is one of the most generic and still one of the most effective back stretches you can possibly utilise. It’s based on sitting on the floor with your legs spread and your arms out in front of you, and gradually sliding your hands outwards across the floor until you’re in line with your heels or as far as you can go, and then slowly returning to the position you started
This means that you're going to stretch your upper back right through to your lower back and even into your legs. It's a great compound stretch that will really help you fight soreness and injury, providing you don't push too far. It's one of the stretches that are useful whenever you use it.
Cat-Camel Back Stretch
Although it sounds a little strange, the Cat-Camel pose is great for showing how to stretch your whole back in one stretch. The point of it is to stretch in the same kind of way as was seen in the spinal stretch, where you need to be in a position where your torso is straight and able to curve your spine both ways, for a full range of motion throughout.
The way to do is it to be on all fours, before arching your back slowly, holding for a second, and then hyperextend to a comfortable position. Ensure that you do not go further than you should to make sure that you do not sustain any injury.
Lower Back Rotation Stretch
The lower back rotation stretch is seen as a classic amongst the rest of the exercises in this list. It's very easy to do and doesn't require a great deal of flexibility. You can even do it sitting on a chair or lying on the floor, depending on what is more comfortable for you.
The movement is the same regardless and just requires you to essentially, while still facing forwards, twist the lower half of your body, so your legs are to the side of you. Then you return to your original position and go the other way. This should be repeated around 6 times for maximum effect.
Learning how to stretch your back is more than just going forwards and backwards too. This stretch is great for the sides of your body as well as your back, which is something that most other back stretches don’t really offer. It’s quite popular to see in aerobic exercise routines, but it’s useful even as a warm-up or as a stretch on its own.
To do it, sit on a flat surface and bend to your side, keeping your legs fixed in their position. With the alternate arm, Raise and bend your arm in line with your body, so you are forming a smooth and gentle curve from your hips to your fingers. Return to your original position and repeat with the other side. Balance is always crucial, so take it steady.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This is probably the easiest stretch to do in the list and takes little to no effort what so ever, but’s still really important. Remember it whether you’re about to work out or just go to bed. It's always useful.
It’s essentially just pushing back your shoulders so that you feel like you are trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. That will help you prepare your entire upper and middle back muscle ranges so that you can see the best of your workouts in the gym as well as helping to aid your balance and posture in the long run. Who can complain about that?
Finally, to end this stretching series with a relatively simplistic but highly effective stretch to help you lower and middle back regions extend, the cobra move steps in. It's a popular yoga position, but it works just as well on its own to help increase the flexibility and muscle tone of your back. It earned its place here.
Still, it's a relatively basic movement, but you will definitely feel the results immediately. Take it slowly and don’t push yourself further than you feel you should. With you lying face down on the floor, push your upper body upwards, so you are looking outwards instead of down, all the while still keeping your hips and legs in contact with the floor.
All of these back stretches are great examples of how to stretch your whole back region in some way or another. Whether you're doing a back weight training workout or you're about to go for a swim, it doesn't matter. Your back has a part to play in just about everything you do, and keeping it ready for anything maybe the most important thing you can do for your body. Always be ready, and don't underestimate how much you use it!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.