Stretching Your Back

Photo Credit: Gray’s Anatomy PD
A stiff back can keep you from enjoying ordinary activities and can make you feel tired and limit your range of motion. Muscle strain is one of the major causes of stiff muscles. You can get a stiff back from the way you sleep to sitting in the same position for a long period of time. Poor posture, such as slouching, can cause stiffness and even pain in your back and neck. Stretching your muscles throughout the day relieves stiffness and increases circulation to your tired, stiff muscles. If you are stuck behind a desk all day, you can stretch your back muscles to alleviate or prevent muscle stiffness. Start with your neck and stretch your muscles all the way down to your lower back.
Stretch your neck by sitting up straight in your chair. Drop your shoulders slightly and squeeze your belly tight to straighten your spine. Tilt your head and drop your left ear toward your left shoulder. Resist the urge to bring your shoulder to your ear. Stretch as far as you can without causing pain. Raise your head back up and lower your right ear toward your right shoulder. Repeat 4 times on each side. Continue to stretch your neck by sitting up straight and turning your head first to the left and then to the right as far as you can. Repeat 4 times in each direction. Tuck your chin down toward your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Now that you’ve loosened up your neck, let’s move to your shoulders.
Sit up straight and bring both of your shoulders up toward your ears. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat this shoulder stretch 4 to 5 times. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold the squeeze for up to 10 seconds. Squeeze your shoulder blades until your upper back feels more relaxed.
A torso twist can relieve stiff middle and lower back muscles. Sit up straight in your chair and twist from your waist to the right as far as you can. Grab the side of your desk chair and pull your body around to the right farther as long as you don’t experience pain. Repeat on the other side.

 

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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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