Back and Neck Stretching Exercises

In order for you to stay in good physical condition, you should carry out these back and neck stretching exercises for stress and pain relief.
Back and Neck Stretching Exercises
Leidy Mora Molina

Reviewed and approved by the nurse Leidy Mora Molina.

Last update: 05 January, 2023

It’s important for you to keep your back and neck in optimal condition. Your back is responsible for supporting the trunk and permitting movement, and your neck connects your head to the thorax through many different structures. That’s why we’ve prepared these back and neck stretching exercises for you, to keep these areas of your body in optimal condition.

It’s common for the back and neck to suffer from discomfort, either due to bad posture, lack of physical exercise, stress, or muscle overload. Exercise can help to prevent and deal with any discomfort you may have. You’ll also achieve muscle relaxation through the release of physical tension.

It’s important to first rule out any possible injuries with your trusted doctor.

This series of exercises can be carried out from the comfort of your home. Ideally, you should practice them continuously, once or twice a day.

Back and neck stretching exercises

Pyramid

  1. Start by spreading your legs apart and opening out your arms.
  2. Then lean your body forward with your arms extended perpendicular to the floor, that is, with one arm above your head and the other touching the center of the floor between your legs.
  3. You should have your body turned to one side. Repeat the exercise on the other side, changing your supporting arm.

Bent over

  1. Start by bringing your legs together, then bend your body forward until you’re touching the floor with both arms.
  2. Keep your knees straight.

Twist

  1. Start by sitting on the floor, resting one hand near your buttocks.
  2. Then move your trunk backwards and hold that position.
  3. In order to maintain this position, bend one of your legs and use it as a support for your arm.
  4. Then repeat the exercise on the other side of your body.

Extension

  1. The idea here is that you extend your legs, sitting on the floor. In this position, bend one leg until your foot is in front of your intimate area.
  2. Stretch your other leg as much as possible and bend your body forwards, trying to grab the tip of your foot with one of your hands, without bending that limb.
  3. Finally, repeat the stretch with the other leg.

Hands together

The purpose of this stretching exercise is for you to move your hands behind your back and link them together there.

  1. First, sit on the floor with your legs bent in a butterfly position.
  2. Then, keeping your back straight, try to link your palms together behind your back.

Touching the floor

This is similar to the second exercise on this list, in which you need to bend downwards. However, in this one, you need to exert more effort.

While standing, you need to bend downwards as if you wanted to touch the floor with your head. The fact that you can’t bend your knees in this position makes it more of a challenge.

Sitting on your heels

  1. Start by kneeling on the floor and bringing your heels together at the buttocks.
  2. Then bend your body forward until you reach the floor, with your hands stretched out as far as possible.
  3. Hold this final position for about 5 seconds so you can build up your endurance.

Some more great exercises for you: Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back

Stretching your neck

This is very simple and is one of the most commonly used stretches. It consists of tilting your head from one side to the other with the help of your hand.

You have to apply a little force with your hand to stretch your neck well. Repeat it, supporting yourself with the other hand and moving your head to the opposite side.

A woman stretching her neck.
You can even stretch your neck at work, either at the office or at your desk at home.

Tilting

The goal is to tilt your head forward and backward. This is one of the easiest exercises to perform.

  1. Start with your shoulders aligned and then start to tilt your head backwards, looking upwards.
  2. For more comfort, place one hand on the back of your neck.
  3. Then place both hands on the back of your head and begin to tilt your head forward. You’ll feel your back and neck extend.

Suggestions for back and neck stretching exercises

To get optimal benefit from correctly performing these back and neck stretching exercises, you need to carry them out in a controlled manner. Never try to force things; carry them out naturally.

The more times you carry out the movements – always respecting your limits – the easier it will be to increase your strength and endurance level.

Something that can really help in these exercises is a mat or thin mattress to ensure your comfort and safety. If you have back pain or any numbness in these areas, then these stretches can be counterproductive, and it would be best to get medical help.

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The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.