Back stretches need to be done with great care. Back pain is extremely prevalent in our society and it's important that you understand the cause of your pain before doing these stretches. The problem can be as simple as tight hamstrings or quads (which we can certainly help with) or it may be a much more complex injury involving deterioration of the spine.
When your health practitioner gives the go-ahead, then these stretches will be of great benefit.
Upper Back Stretches
Muscles in the Neck also attach to the Trapezius muscles in your shoulder girdle. These stretches are wonderful:
Gently draw your head over to each side, using opposite hand. You'll feel the stretch right down the side of your neck. Remember of breathe deeply with all these stretches.
You can use both hands behind the head. Draw down gently. You'll feel the stretch right down between your shoulder blades.
Again here, draw the neck gently down with chin sitting on the left, then right side of your chest. You'll feel this stretch too, down into the upper back.
Yup! That's a brookstick and it's a wonderful device to loosen up your shoulders and upper back. There are 3 positions here - straight out in front of you; to the left; to the right.
Mid & Lower Back Stretches
The first stretching exercise on the floor is a favourite gentle yoga position. Flop like you are a rag doll and consciously relax all your muscles.
If you can't manage to get your backside over your feet, it's probably because your hamstrings are too tight - so again,check out our hamstring stretch. In this position, simply allow your shoulders to flop down, close your eyes, and relax and dont forget to breathe.
The second stretch uses a stability ball, but you need to follow instructions. Again, imagine you are a rag doll. Unbuckle both knees, let your head and arms flop and close your eyes and relax. Focus on relaxing the whole body including thighs, hips and shoulders. You'll feel a wonderful stretch in your top hip, as very deep stabilising muscles as well as quads and hamstrings are letting go of their tension. If you love using the ball as much as I do, our BALANCE BALL EXERCISES are worthwhile.
The third stretch, is also on the ball. The same insturctions apply. Rest your head on the ball, allow head and arms to flop back with no holding tension, then consciously relax hips, thighs and shoulder girdle. Breathe.
2-Minute Back Stretches Video
Also, it is essential to do abdominal exercises together with these. Go to our CORE STRENGTH PAGE for wonderful examples to help develop core muscle strength. Back and front. Back muscles and abdominal muscles - 2 sides of the coin - can't have one without the other,as the song goes.
When you're ready to take on exercises, following this link to
LOWER BACK EXERCISES
and view the video below which will show you wonderful lower back stretches.
Tension and tight muscles (or lack of strength in muscles), can cause severe postural problems. For instance, if your chest muscles are tight, you may find that they are drawing your shoulders forward, rounding out the back as a result. Our POSTURE page, will give useful information to help you understand spinal alignment and problems you may be facing.
BELOW you have access to our online Correct Posture Test which will help you to discover exactly what stretches will be of benefit to you. This is available to you when you receive for our monthly newsletter. The NEWSLETTER, (called NEWSY PILATES STUFF), provides useful illustrated information about exercises and stretches, a little bit of gossip, and video stretches - and of course it's FREE. The form below is a simple one and requires little time to complete.
Over 50? You'll find heaps of great FREE 2-minute videos to help with your exercise routine with full instructions to help you along the way..Click here:
Over 50's Workouts
Check out our full body workout DVDs - you're sure to find one that is just right for you. There are 4: Core Strength Exercises, Stability Ball Exercises, Resistance Band Exercises & Stretching Exercises. Click: