How To Stretch Your Back

Last update: 17 July, 2018

Nowadays we spend hours sitting in less than ideal positions, and this can cause back pain.  To help avoid this, it is vital to stretch your back correctly and in this article, we will tell you how to stretch your back. 

If you have pain in your spine (either in the cervical, back or lumbar area) maybe it is because of the position you hold for hours at work? Or because you have strained your back from intense effort? In any case, we recommend the following exercises to stretch your back. These back stretching exercises are ideal if you are in pain or if you are prone to back pain.

Exercises to stretch your back

We do not have to wait for an area to hurt before we strengthen it, but prevention is always preferable. Thus, we are sharing some exercises to stretch your back that will be helpful after a strenuous day in the office or intense activity.

1. Hamstring stretches

Lay on your back with your legs stretched out. Lift the right leg without flexing and hold it with both hands behind the knee (or where you can reach). Stretch the leg thoroughly by pressing it down to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds and change legs.

Here is another, although it is a slightly more complicated hamstring stretch: stretch the right leg and flex the left. Rest the left ankle on the right knee. Pass the left hand through the hole between both legs, with the right hand outside. Press from behind the right knee.


2. Knee to chest

Laying on your back again, bend your knees (or you can leave your legs stretched) and then bring one leg to the chest. Grab it with both hands and press lightly. After 20 seconds, change sides.

When finished, it is time to do the same exercise but with both knees together. Wrap your arms around your legs to help you. The idea is to lift your buttocks off the ground. If you dare, you can turn to the sides and do a massage like exercise on the lumbar.


3. Pelvis raises

This exercise to stretch your back is recommended for those with both back and neck pain. Lay on your back, bend your knees, rest your feet on the floor and let your arms rest at the sides of your body.

Lift the pelvis slowly until your back is off the floor, but remembering that your shoulder blades, neck and head must be supported. Imagine that you are forming a triangle with your body: your legs form one side (below the knee), your thighs, pelvis, belly and chest form another side and the remaining side is formed with your arms.


4. Lateral spinal stretch

Ideal for muscular contractions of the neck and back, this exercise can be done upon getting up or before going to bed. Lay on your back with your legs stretched out. Flex the right knee and turn the hip to your left side

Let your right leg pass over the left leg and your knee rest on the floor or bed. Stretch your right arm (at shoulder height) and turn your head to the right side. Press on the right knee with the left arm. Hold the position for 30 seconds before changing sides.


5. Cat pose

Back stretching exercises should include a yoga position. In this case, we will make a cat pose, which is made by supporting the palms, knees, tibia and insteps on the floor.

Keep your back straight, parallel to the floor. Then bend slightly back, and at the same time move your head in the same way (try to look at the ceiling). After a few seconds, return to the starting position. The second part of the exercise consists of doing the opposite, that is, bringing your head down to between your shoulders, along with your back–as if you are making an arch.

6. Total stretch

Finally, when you are uncomfortable and you want to stretch your back fully, this exercise is extremely effective. Stand facing a wall or a chair. Support your hands and stretch your arms, and at the same time take a few steps backwards, so that your back is parallel to the ground. Lower your head so that it is between your shoulders. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds and rise slowly, so you do not feel dizzy or sick.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.