The 11 Best Back Stretches
Back stretches can both relieve and prevent muscle cramps and pain. However, you should always adapt them to your capabilities and never force a movement. Learn more in this article!
When is the last time you did some back stretches?
Whether it’s because you work too hard, sit in front of a computer for many hours, or even spend too much time staring at your phone, you can easily suffer from neck or spinal pain.
If muscle cramping has become the norm and you can’t move easily, we suggest you perform some stretches for your back. They’re easy and very effective.
Back stretches for aches and pains
Most of the adult population suffers from back pain due to our sedentary lifestyles.
If you feel pain when you stand or sit, or if you bend your body forward to avoid tensing up, we recommend performing a stretching routine every day:
1. Hamstring stretches
- Lie on your back and stretch your legs out straight.
- Raise your right leg as far as you can and grasp your thigh with your hands. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Do the same with your left leg.
- This exercise serves to stretch your lower back.
Read also: 7 stretches for back pain
2. Knees to the chest
- Also lying on your back, bend your legs and pull your knees as close to your chest as possible. Hold them with your arms and apply a little pressure.
- Maintain this pose for about 30 seconds, twisting your hips from one side to the other in a rocking motion, and then extend your legs.
- You can do the same exercise with one leg at a time, first the right and then the left, for at least 30 seconds on each side.
- The leg that is not flexed remains bent with the heel supported on the floor so you don’t lose your balance.
3. Cat pose
- This pose is called the “cat pose” because it resembles the posture of a cat when stretching or waking up from a nap.
- To do this, support yourself with your palms, knees, and toes on the floor. Your arms should be fully extended.
- Curve your spine up and then down (tilt your head back as you curve downward).
- Do this slowly and repeat 10 times.
4. Spinal stretch
- Lying face up on a mat or the bed, stretch your right arm out at shoulder height (it should be perpendicular to your torso).
- Cross your right leg over your left leg so that your right knee touches the ground. You can hold it with your left hand. Apply a little pressure.
- Hold this pose for 20 seconds and switch sides.
5. Side stretch
- This exercise is similar to the one above.
- Lying on your back, hold your legs together. Bend your knees and turn to your right side.
- Your torso should be supported on the floor, along with your head and arms.
- Hold this for 30 seconds and then do the same on the other side.
6. Mahometan stretch
This is one of the best known stretches and is usually performed at the end of an abs workout. It can also be used to stretch your lower back region.
- Support your body with your knees and toes on a mat.
- Lift your arms and bring your hands forward to touch the floor. Your face should be as close to the floor as possible.
- Hold this for a few seconds before re-centering your body.
7. Hip stretch
It’s important to elongate your entire back from the base. To do this, you can support yourself from your knees and toes on the floor while holding your torso very straight.
- Bring your right knee forward and support your weight on your right foot.
- Place your hands on your forward knee and move your body towards it.
- Hold this for 20 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
8. Pelvic raises
This is also very effective for lower back pain.
- Lay on your back and rest your feet on the floor, leaving your arms at the sides of your torso.
- Gently lift your pelvis without lifting your shoulders off the mat. Imagine you are forming a triangle with your body.
- Hold this pose for 10 seconds, lower, and repeat five times.
9. Total stretch
This exercise can be very effective if you have back pain or just after your regular routine at the gym.
- Stand in front of a wall (or a table) and support both hands at hip height.
- Slowly lower your back as you bring your feet back.
- The goal is to keep your back as parallel to the floor as possible and for your head to remain loose between your shoulders.
- If it helps, you can bring your glutes out.
10. Cross-legged stretch
This exercise is very effective for back pain.
- Sit with your legs and torso straight.
- Bend your right leg and cross it over the left.
- Support the side of your foot along your thigh and apply a little pressure with your left arm. Your right hand should remain rested on the ground.
- Hold this pose for about 30 seconds and change sides.
Visit this article: Yoga stretches for back pain
11. Arm stretches
Since back muscle cramps may be due to overwork in the shoulder, you can stretch your arms, shoulder blades, and shoulders to relax the region.
- While sitting on the edge of the bed, reach your right arm over your head and twist your torso to the left.
- Touch your right hand to the bed for a moment. Repeat this on the other side.
- While standing, stretch both arms as if you wanted to touch the ceiling, then turn them to form an imaginary circle in front of your chest.