After sitting or standing for several hours, you will experience upper back and neck pain. This may be because you are not aware that you are slouching which caused the muscles to stiffen or tighten. Even some types of exercise can cause your muscles to ache in this part of your body. The best way to get rid of these is to perform the right kinds of stretches. This article will help you get rid of those back pains in no time.
Effective Upper Back Stretches
Shoulder blade squeezes
This is a very effective and convenient exercise since you can do this anywhere. Stretch your shoulder blades by sitting up straight and then gently squeezing your shoulders together. Your chest should slightly thrust outwards. Make sure that you don’t push your shoulders upwards while stretching because this will make your muscles feel stiffer. You may do this exercise while you are in your work table or even while standing inside the train. Repeat this exercise until you feel your back muscles relax.
Upper back extensions and rotations
You will need a strong-backed chair for this exercise. Sit up straight on your chair and prepare for upper back stretches. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. These exercises should be repeated five times each and should be held for ten seconds. Place your hands at the back of your head, gently arc your back and tilt your chin up. Next place your hands on your chest and rotate on your left side, do the same exercise on the right side. Lastly, place your hands again behind your head and gently bend on your left with your elbows facing the floor. Do the same exercise on the other side.
Stretches with a medicine ball
Sit on the medicine ball and make sure that your feet are flat on the floor and your arms on your side. Gently tilt your head on the left, then on the right. Slowly rotate your head in order to flex the muscles at the back of your neck. Lower down to the medicine ball and make a back bend. Hold this for eight to ten seconds, and then gently pull up and sit up straight again on the ball.
Shoulder blade isolation
This is a challenging exercise but it's an exciting and effective way to do upper back stretches. Stand straight and put your arms on your side. Gently push your shoulder blades up, then push them outward, and down. Make sure to maintain proper posture all throughout the exercise and hold each position for at least ten seconds. Each movement should move at least one centimeter for every direction.
Remember that when doing this exercise, you should never roll your head back because this will only increase pressure on your spine. Tilt your head on your right and gently roll to your chest then to the left side. Do the same on the other side. Imagine that you are following a letter “U” while rolling your neck.
Relax your shoulders and start doing shoulder rolls. Softly roll your shoulders up, out and down. Do this in a fluid motion for ten times. After doing so, do it the other way around for ten times. This exercise reduces the tension on your shoulders. If done correctly, you will be able to release all the tightened muscles and feel relaxed immediately.
Stretches in the cow-face pose
The cow-face pose is one of the most favorite, effective and relaxing upper back stretches of all time. Raise your right hand upward and bend your elbow so that your hand will fall at the back of your head. Place your left hand at your back and bend your arm so that the back of your left hand touches your shoulder blade. Try to reach your left fingers with your right fingers. If you can’t, get a towel to bridge the gap of your hands.
Stand in front of a wall. Place your hands on the wall and move back your feet making a ninety degrees angle. Stretch your arms but make sure they are not too high and your shoulders are relaxed to avoid further strain. Face down and feel your muscles release the tension.
Low-back stretch while hands clasp
Place your hands behind you and clasp them. Gently stretch your upper back by arching your back and pushing your chest outwards. Hold this position for ten seconds and then reverse the clasping of your hands. Repeat the steps.
Stand perpendicularly beside a wall and gently rotate one arm. Make ten repetitions for each direction and then do the same with the other arm. This is another way to do upper back stretches.
Insert your left arm through the space between the right arm and right leg making the back of the left hand touch the ground. While making your hips leveled, let your upper body rotate to the right side. Make sure that your hips don’t make spaces on the right.
Side thoracic rotating stretch
While lying on your right side, bend your legs and place your right arm perpendicularly to your body. Place your left arm on top of the right and then gently lift and rotate it so that you make a large arch in the air. Without moving your hips, let your left arm reach your left side as far as possible. Gently turn your neck to the left. Do this exercise ten times including on the other side.