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Top Back Stretches to Avoid Back Injuries

Tips for safe back stretches:

  • Remember that stretching cold muscles can lead to injury. Do 5-10 minutes of light activity such as walking before.
  • Start stretching slowly
  • Relax and hold the stretch for 10 seconds

Many everyday activities can cause back pain, from sitting improperly at work to over training for a sport. To protect your back from injury, regular stretching is essential.

Here are the top stretches to prevent back injury:

Standing back arch
  1.    Stand straight with your feet at a distance as the width of your shoulders.
  2.    Take a few deep breaths to relax. Then put the palms of your hands on your lower back.
  3.    Start to bend your upper body backward, supporting your back with your hands and keeping your knees straight. Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  4.    Still supporting your back and keeping your knees straight, slowly return to your starting position.
  5.    Repeat this exercise for 5 times.
Wall Slide
  1.    Stand against a wall so your head, shoulders, and buttocks, are all pushed against the wall.
  2.    Put your hands at shoulder level, your elbows bent at 45 degrees, and palms facing forward.
  3.    Start to slowly reach up and extend your arms up to the wall, stretching as far up as they will go, not moving your head, shoulders, and buttocks, keeping them pushed against the wall. You should take about 5 to 10 seconds to reach up.
  4.    Slowly return to the starting position for 5 to 10 seconds.
  5.    Repeat the exercise for 5 to 10 times.
Low-back rotation stretch
  1.    Sitting on a chair, rest your feet flat on the floor.
  2.    Holding the seat of the chair for support, twist your upper body so your shoulders rotate to one side. Remember not to force the stretch. Go only as far as you comfortably can.
  3.    Hold the position for 20 seconds.
  4.    Slowly return to the starting position.
  5.    Repeat the exercise on the other side.
Spine stretch
  1.    Sit on the floor with your feet stretched in front of you, wider than your hips.
  2.    Using your hips as a hinge, begin to bend your neck and back forward.
  3.    Breathe normally as you draw your chin into your neck going down.
  4.    Slide your hands on the floor in front of you.
  5.    Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  6.    Once you feel the stretch through your back, slowly return to the starting position.
  7.    Do this more than once a day if possible.
Knee-to-chest stretch
  1.    Lie on the floor with your legs extended.
  2.    Lift and bend your right leg, bringing the knee towards your chest.
  3.    Grasp your knee or shin with your right hand, and pull your leg as far as it will comfortably go.
  4.    Remain in the knee-to-chest position for 5 seconds while pressing your spine on the floor.
  5.    Slowly return to your starting position.
  6.    Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
  7.     Using both legs, repeat again.
  8.    Repeat the sequence 5 times.
Cat-camel back stretch
  1.    Kneel with both of your hands touching the floor.
  2.    Slowly alternate between bending your back upward and downward so that the lower, middle and upper sections of your spine stretch altogether.
  3.    Do this exercise slowly and gently, only going as far as your back comfortably can.
  4.    One cycle will take three to four seconds. Repeat the sequence five times.
Squat stretch
  1.    Stand with your toes slightly turned outward and your legs wider than shoulder width apart.
  2.    Bend your knees to lower the body, to the point where your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3.    Place your hands on top of your knees to support the stretch.
  4.    Lift your pelvis backward.
  5.    Keep the posture and press your right hand down on your right knee as you inhale.  Exhale and turn your shoulders to your left.
  6.    Breathe in and out three times (about 20 to 30 seconds).
  7.    Go back to the starting position, then repeat the sequence on the other side
Seated forward bend
  1.    Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2.    Put a towel around on the soles of your feet, and leave it there.
  3.    Stretch your arms reaching up as you inhale.
  4.    While exhaling, begin to slowly bend forward by hinging at the hips, bringing your abdomen close to your thighs.
  5.    Hold the towel hooked at the bottom of your feet, keeping your back straight.
  6.    Take another breath and as you exhale, try to bring your upper body closer to your legs. Hold for 30 seconds. Remember to only go as far as you comfortably can.
  7.    Gradually increase the duration each time you do it.  

For any back injury, you can visit Beyond Wellness Chiropractic Center for an adjustment!

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