When we hear about exercises for sitting all day, we often hear about stretches for the hips and low back. Hardly ever addressed, is the upper back – especially the thoracic spine.
When we sit at our desk, computer, in our car, or for 20 minutes at a time on the toilet mindlessly browsing Instagram on our phones, we usually are set up in classic kyphotic posture.
The upper back/spine is supposed to be a very mobile segment of the spine, but this kind of lifestyle leads to tightness. When the mobile thoracic spine is immobile, the lumbar spine – lower back – is often sacrificed for mobility – thus leading to LOW back pain.
Here are some quick exercises you can do right now to help loosen up that upper back, fix your posture, and feel better daily.
Cross your arms and look for hit spots along the upper and outer back muscles. Hit them with short little rolls for 30-60 seconds each.
Cross your arms again, keeping your butt on the floor, arch your back over the roller starting at your midback and working up towards your neck. Go slow, breathe out, feel the back stretching – but make sure your butt is on the floor the whole time.
Breathe out and reach big over head letting gravity take your ams towards the floor. Repeat until you feel like you have extended your range and cannot go further.
Lay with one leg over the foam roller and rotate your body away and open while breathing out. Repeat for 5-10 reps per side.
Drive your hips back and arms up while rotating your palms towards the ceiling. Let your head push through your arms towards the floor. Breathe out, reach out. – 5-10 reps.
Plank up, drive your hips back then bring one leg forward outside of the same side hand. Drop the other knee to the floor while rotating away and breathing out. After hitting both sides, push your butt back in the air, then come forward – driving your hips towards the ground and arching your back (DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU KNOW IT HURTS YOU!) – finally glide back into a yoga childs pose. Repeat 3-5 times.
Do these exercises 2-3 times per week – and I promise your back will start loving you.
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