The Best Stretches for Your Back

The Best Stretches for Your Back
Everybody should begin their day with a series of stretches. A short series of stretches will get the blood flowing through your body. Circulation is important immediately upon waking up because lying down and sleeping slows down the circulation. The blood carries oxygen to your back muscles and ligaments which allows you to move more freely. If you ever noticed that you don't move quite as smoothly when you first wake up, you've just seen evidence of why stretching in the morning is good for you back.

Rope Climbing Exercise

Begin your back stretching workout by standing as straight as possible with your feet hip-width apart. Start with your arms handing by your sides. Slowly bring your arms upward in a wide arc so that you end with your arms straight in the air, fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Take turns bending one arm so that you are pantomiming climbing a robe. Do this movement very slowly and smoothly.

Neck Stretch

The neck stretch will exercise your upper back as well as you neck muscles. Stand straight with feet flat and hip-width apart. Tilt you head backward and hold for a count of three before slowly bending your head back to the starting position. Next swivel your head to the right and hold for a count of three. Return to the starting position and swivel your head to the left for a count of three. It is important that the only movement in this part of the stretch is located in your neck and head. Keep your shoulders squarely facing forward.

Trunk Rotation

The trunk rotation begins with your standing straight and your feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Holding your hands on your hip and very slowly and smoothly twist your torso to the right. You can twist your hips, but keep your feet planted squarely on the floor. Make sure your head is kept aligned with your spine. If you move your head farther around this will place unwanted pressure on your neck. Hold in the twisted position for a few seconds and then slowly twist back to the starting position. Repeat with a twist in the other direction.

Sitting Back Stretch

Take a break from standing during your back stretch routine by sitting down with your knees straight and your legs as far part as possible. Place both hands on the right knee and slowly move both hands down your leg toward your ankle. Quit as soon as you feel any pain and don't move your hands any further below where it is uncomfortable to hold in the position for more than 10 seconds. Repeat with your left leg.

Side Bends

Side bends will help strengthen the muscles located on the side of your trunk and increase your mobility. Get back onto your feet and assume the common stance of feet flat on the floor hip-width apart. Keep your arms by your sides as you slowly bend sideways to the right. Make sure that your pelvis is kept level as you let your arm hang down by your side. When you can feel the stretch on the opposite side from which you are bending you should hold for a count of three and then return to the starting position. Repeat by bending in the other direction.

Article Written By Timothy Sexton

Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.

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