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How to Relax Your Back

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Tightness in your back may occur if you have poor posture, are sore after a workout, or simply because you have weak core muscles. 5-Minute Crafts would like to show you several exercises that will help you loosen any tension and relieve a tight back faster.

❗ If you don’t see any results within 2-6 weeks of doing daily exercises, see your doctor.

Warm up with diaphragmatic breathing.

What to do:

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on your abdominal area.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose and try to feel how your hands rise on your abdomen.
  • Breathe out through pursed lips, applying light pressure to your belly with your hands.
  • Breathe in this way for several seconds, allowing your body to relax.

Identify the muscles you need to relax.

1. The quadratus lumborum muscles are the deepest abdominal muscles that are located in your lower back on either side of the spine.

2. The longissimus muscles are long muscles that are located along your spine.

3. The serratus anterior muscles are fan-shaped muscles that are located on the surface of the first to eighth ribs at the sides of your chest.

4. The triceps are large muscles on the backs of your upper arms.

5. The abdominal external oblique muscles are the largest of your abdominal muscles that are located at the sides of your belly.

6. The rectus abdominis muscles are located on either side of the midline in your abdominal wall.

Do the following exercises.

1. Hip circles

Target: Rectus abdominis

What to do:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and place your hands on your hips.
  • Slowly start moving your hips from side to side.
  • Then start making big circles with your hips.
  • Do 10 circles in one direction.
  • Then change the direction and repeat the exercise.

2. Windshield wipers

Target: Oblique muscles

What to do:

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent, your feet in the air, and your arms extended to the sides, perpendicular to your torso.
  • Breathe out and slowly put your knees down to the right side. At the same time, turn your head in the opposite direction to look to the left.
  • Breathe in and return to the initial position.
  • Repeat with the opposite side.
  • Do this exercise for 1 minute.

3. Cat-cow pose

Target: Rectus abdominis, triceps, longissimus

What to do:

  • Stand on your hands and knees with your knees below the hips and your wrists below the shoulders. Keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • Perform the cow pose — breathe in, look up, drop your belly toward the floor, stick your buttocks out, lift your head and shoulders, and push your chest out to stretch your back.
  • Perform the cat pose — breathe out, arch your back toward the ceiling, tilt your pelvis toward the ribs, draw the shoulder blades away from each other, and let your head drop toward the floor.
  • Switch between the poses for 1 minute.

4. Seated twist

Target: Abdominal muscles, obliques

What to do:

  • Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your spine straight.
  • Slowly twist to the left side, place your right hand on the outside of your left knee, and put your left hand behind your back.
  • Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds, then return to the initial position.
  • Repeat the stretch 3-4 times on each side.

5. Latissimus dorsi stretch

Target: Serratus muscles

What to do:

  • Standing or sitting, raise your right hand up, over the head.
  • Keeping your spine straight, bend your right elbow so that your right hand drops behind your upper back.
  • Place your left hand on the right elbow and gently pull the right arm to the left side.
  • Slightly bend your body to the left, making sure that you are not leaning forward or backward.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

6. Thoracolumbar fascia stretch

Target: Oblique muscles

What to do:

  • Lie down on your back, place your feet flat on the floor, and extend your arms to the sides.
  • Lift your hips and move them a few inches to the right side.
  • Then cross your right leg over the left leg.
  • If you can, hook the right foot underneath the left calf.
  • Gently lower your legs to the left side and place them on the floor.
  • Hold the stretch for 6 breaths, then repeat on the other side.
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