words Al Woods
Mid back stretches aren’t just great for gym junkies and athletes; it’s also perfect for everyday people who are dealing with back pain. So if you’re experiencing back aches for quite a while now, then you might as well try doing a couple of middle back stretches before trying other remedies. Below is a list of exercises you can start with.
Cat Cow Pose
The breath-synchronized Cat Cow pose can bring benefits to both your body and mind. Doing this stretch daily can improve your focus, coordination, and overall mental health. It will improve your blood circulation as well. But more importantly, it will help you relieve any pain you’re experiencing in your middle back.
- Kneel on all fours on the floor or your mat, with your wrists directly below your shoulders and knees below your hips. You can use a cushion or folded blanket if your knees are particularly sensitive.
- Press the ground with your palms and fingertips. Make sure you distribute your weight evenly in your hands.
- Take a deep breath, then gently raise your pelvis upward, bring your chest forward, and dip your belly downward. Face upward as you do this. This is the Cow Pose.
- As you exhale, gently arch your back like a cat. Round your spine, tuck in your pelvis, and let your head hang freely. This is the Cat Pose.
- Switch between the two poses for at least 5 to 7 times.
On the other hand, seated twists are great if you want to improve your spinal mobility, open up your hips, improve your posture, and get rid of mid back pain. This stretch is designed to work on the muscles on your neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
- Sit with your legs crossed on the floor or your mat. Keep your back straight.
- Turn your torso to your right side. To keep your back straight, touch your right knee with your left hand and hold onto the floor or mat with your right. Also, look straight ahead.
- Maintain this position for 5 to 10 seconds, taking deep, generous breaths as you do so.
- Then return to the starting position and repeat the process on your left side.
Meanwhile, passive backend stretches help you unwind after a long day at work. Aside from relieving any pain you’re feeling in your middle back, it will also reduce the tension you’re experiencing in your shoulders and joints. As an added bonus, it will improve your posture and overall flexibility.
- Lay on the floor or your mat. Roll an extra mat or blanket beforehand, then make sure your middle back is directly underneath it as you lie down. You can also elevate your head with a pillow for extra comfort.
- Stretch out your arms sideways until they’re making a 90-degree angle with your torso.
- Maintain this position for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Take your time and relax.
Thread the Needle
But if you prefer doing yoga poses, then try the Thread the Needle move. This exercise won’t just relieve your mid back pain; it will increase the flexibility of your sides, too! For best results, do this while extending your arms outward.
- Kneel on all fours, with your knees directly under the hips and your feet aligned with them.
- Walk with your hands out until they’re below your shoulders. Keep your hips, knees, and feet still as you do this. Also, keep your arms straight.
- Rotate your chest, while simultaneously moving your right right arm under your left arm. Then rest your right hand on the floor or mat with your palms up.
- Lower your right shoulder as far as you can, then gently place the right side of your head on the ground. Make sure you’re facing the ceiling.
- Maintain this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Push upward with your right arm to slowly return to the starting position. Then repeat the process with your left arm.
Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
Lastly, the latissimus dorsi stretch will relieve your back pain and improve your latissimus dorsi muscles (lats for short) at the same time. Through this exercise, you’ll enjoy optimal spinal stability, enhanced shoulder and back strength, and better body posture to boot.
- Stand up straight and tall, then raise your right hand up over your head.
- Bend your right elbow so your hand is touching your upper back.
- Place your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right arm to the left.
- Simultaneously, bend your body in a straight line to your left without leaning forward or backward.
- Maintain this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat the process on the other side.
- (Note: You can also do latissimus dorsi stretches while sitting.)
Middle back pain isn’t a problem you should ignore. By doing the stretches listed above, you’ll be able to relieve it.