3 stretches for the middle back
Three stretches that are easy to do at home or in the office, and they can help relieve mid back pain, loosen tight muscles, and improve mobility.
The seated twist stretch can help determine how tight the mid back muscles are, while gradually increasing the range of movement in both directions.
Postures that involve a lot of sitting with hunched shoulders can cause the mid back muscles to tighten, limiting the spine’s ability to twist. A person should focus on sitting upright, with the back straight and the head in a neutral position.
To perform the seated twist:
- Sit on a chair or the floor, with the legs crossed or straight out in front. Make sure to sit tall, while pulling the shoulder blades together and down.
- Slowly twist to the left side. Place the right hand on the outside of the left knee and place the left hand behind the back to provide support.
- Hold the twist for 20–30 seconds, then return to center.
- Repeat on the other side.
Repeat this stretch three or four times on each side. When working at a desk, practicing this and similar stretches throughout the day can help relieve tension in the back.
Child’s Pose is a restful, very simple yoga poses. It allows the spine to elongate passively while the person rests over their knees.
This variation keeps the knees apart to stretch the core abdominal muscles that connect the lower back to the long leg bone.
Placing the arms over the head gently stretches the latissimus dorsi, a large flat muscle that connects the spine and the long arm bone.
To perform the Child’s Pose:
- Start in a kneeling position, with the hips and buttocks resting on the lower legs and feet.
- Spread the knees apart to a point that is comfortable. Then fold the body forwards, bringing the chest down towards the knees.
- If possible, bring the forehead to the floor, with the arms stretched out in front. The hands should gently rest on the floor, keeping the arms straight.
- Rest here for 20–30 seconds.
- Use the hands to gently return to an upright position.
Thread the Needle is a yoga pose that stretches the sides of the body, including the latissimus dorsi. This stretch can also help loosen the muscles of the upper back.
To get the most benefit, focus on keeping the arms extended outwards and maintaining a stretch that is comfortable, not painful.
To perform Thread the Needle:
- Start on hands and knees, with the knees directly below the hips and the feet in line with the knees.
- Keeping the hips, knees, and feet still, walk the hands out in front until they are below the shoulders. Keep the arms straight, so that a slight stretch is felt down the sides.
- Take the right arm and pass it under the left arm while rotating the chest. The right hand should rest on the floor, palm up.
- Try to lower the right shoulder as far as possible, while gently placing the right side of the head onto the floor. Look past the armpit, toward the ceiling.
- Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
- Push upward, using the right arm to gently return to the starting position. Then, repeat the stretch using the left arm.
*summarize from Womens health