WORK FROM HOME STRETCHES - PART 2 (UPPER AND MIDDLE BACK)

April 30, 2021

WORK FROM HOME STRETCHES - PART 2 (UPPER AND MIDDLE BACK)

Over the past year or so, many of us have been working from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In continuation with our Work from home stretches series, this blog post addresses imbalances arising in your upper and middle back due to poor posture and continuous sitting without breaks.

HERE ARE 4 SIMPLE STRETCHES TO ALLEVIATE UPPER AND MIDDLE BACK STIFFNESS.

Cat and cow stretch

1. CAT COW STRETCH REDUCES BACK, NECK AND SHOULDER TENSION

  • Sit comfortably in your chair with both feet planted on the ground.
  • Place the palms of your hands on your knees.

  • As you inhale, arch your upper back moving into the Cat pose. Lift your gaze, opening up through the chest.

  • Exhale and round your back moving into Cow pose. Create space between the shoulder blades and let your chin drop.

  • Move in and out of cat and cow pose slowly repeating the action 3 times.

Seated chair twist

2. SEATED SPINAL TWIST INCREASES SPINAL MOBILITY

  • Sit comfortably in your chair with both feet planted on the ground.
  • Extend your arms up and lift and lengthen your spine.
  • Maintaining that lift, place your left palm on the outside of the right thigh and with your right hand hold the right side of your chair.
  • Inhale, lift and lengthen the spine, exhale and twist gently towards your right side from the base of your spine. 
  • Inhale and lift your spine and exhale and twist a little more.
  • Stay in the pose for 10-12 seconds and release. Repeat on both sides 2-3 times.
  • Note : Make sure that your head is not twisting more than your upper body and it stays in the center of your chest.

Side stretch

3. SEATED SIDE STRETCH STRENGTHENS THE INTERCOSTAL MUSCLES

  • Sit comfortably in your chair with both feet planted on the ground.
  • Extend your arms up and lift and lengthen your spine.
  • Bring your right hand down to hold the right side of your chair for support.
  • Inhale, lengthen through the spine, extend your left arm and and stretch over to the right side.
  • Keep your attention on the right sit bone, making sure that it stays connected to the chair.
  • Hold for 8-10 seconds while continuing to breath normally.
  • Exhale and come back to the center.
  • Repeat on both sides 2-3 times.
  • Note: Keep your arm in line with your lateral body and not in front.

Forward bend

4. SEATED FORWARD BEND STRETCHES AND RELAXES THE SPINE
  • Sit comfortably in your chair with feet wide apart and toes pointed slightly out.
  • Extend your arms up and lift and lengthen your spine. Hold your elbows with your opposite hands.
  • On the next exhale, lean forward with an extended spine, folding at the hips until your chest rests on your thighs.
  • Take your arms down and place them close to your feet. If it is not comfortable to take your chest all the way down to your thighs, try placing a folded blanket or a pillow on your thigh and roll on top of it.
  • Relax your neck and jaw, breath naturally.
  • Stay here for about 5 breaths, inhale and lift back up.
  • Repeat 2-3 times.

Forward stretch

5. STANDING FORWARD BEND STRENGTHENS THE SPINE AND IMPROVES POSTURE

  • Stand in front of the chair with the back rest facing you.( the chair backrest should reach around your hip)
  • Take a few steps back and bring both arms in front of you and rest your hands on the top of your chair backrest.
  • Keeping your hands on the chair backrest, step back with your feet while bending from your hips, extending your spine till it’s at 90 degrees from your legs.
  • Note: Recede your abdomen towards your spine with an exhale and don’t let it hang down.

Also check out Part 1 covering arms and shoulder , and  Part 3 for hamstrings and calves.


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