When stretching out, people often go straight to the upper body or legs. This way, the back areas, especially the upper back, tends to get left out. You should not forget your back for in this area, the tension takes a lot of places that come from daily movements. The back is usually the area that supports the movement of your upper body, including your neck and arms. It is best to do some upper back stretches that can help ease any tightness or stiffness. Targeting this area is paramount, here is why should perform it and how to do it.
Why Perform Upper Back Strecthes?
Most active people have poor mobility in their upper back, known as the thoracic spine. If you suffer this, there are some upper-back stretches to help you mobilize this area. Your upper back is the most crucial and troublesome area of your body that you need to work on. The spine encompasses a dozen vertebrae and lots of large surrounding muscle.
Work out your upper back so you will be able to flex, extend and twist your muscles surrounding it. Balance your stretches to cut out muscle tightness and poor posture. Immobilizing the lower back can increase the risk of a lower-back injury. This is because it is the area that compensates and rotates even though it is not supposed to. With a healthy back, you will have no trouble breathing.
Helps You Breathe
Keeping your upper back healthy can affect your daily mobility as well as helps you breathe. Every breath expands the ribs, especially during exercise. This movement is relative to both the thoracic spine and sternum. To ensure you will get enough air, you need to restore the motion to your upper back. Find some comfortable postures to get you enough oxygen while exercising. Here are some motions that you can try.
- Child’s Pose. This pose is great for any age and it does not cause any mobility problems. You can do this by loosening your lower back to aiding in digestion which is a great upper back stretch.
- Neck Rotations and Tilts. This will work on the muscles from the base of your skull to your upper spine. Perform some neck stretches to ease the tension especially if you are in a sedentary work for long hours. You can do this by looking straight and relaxing shoulders and arms at both sides. Tilt your chin down for 20 minutes and look up at the ceiling for same hour range. Do this vice versa.
- Butterfly Wings. This stretching targets your entire upper back. Place your left palm face down on left shoulder and right palm face down on the right shoulder. Pull your elbows back and try to touch them together to get a deep stretch in your upper back. Do it properly for this might cause pain or make preexisting pain worse if done wrong.
These are only examples of pre-workout warm-ups to help loosen up your body. This will also prepare your upper back for any workouts and stretches ahead. Note that forgoing shoulder and upper back stretches cause pain, strains, and injuries. Do not go forward with your workout without stretching the upper back to keep it mobilizes.