Upper Back Stretches

Upper Back Stretches: What You Should Know

Upper Back Stretches Picture

About Upper Back Stretches

Stretches are one fitness aspect that most people ignore or don’t just care about. Contrary to common belief, everyone should add one form of stretching to their daily routine to relieve tension and increase the flexibility of their muscles.

The muscles of the upper back consist of a group of muscles that originate from the base of the skull over the shoulders and down the spine to form the shape of a trapezium. These muscles assist in the movement of our neck, shoulders, and scapula. In addition, they also protect the entire upper region or the body and with time become stiff and cause pain. To prevent such from happening, one must perform stretches that increase flexibility and relieves stress.

Importance of Upper back stretches

According to a physical therapist, David Nolan; stretching is not something we do once in a while, it has to be a daily regimen. It should happen daily.

Stretching keep the muscles in good condition by increasing the flexibility and reducing the stiffness of the joints. It also prepares them for any unforeseen stress and strains that might affect you negatively. The muscles of the upper back consist of joints and body parts we use every day. The neck, shoulders, arm, and the back are members that we use daily. To keep them healthy is very important. Furthermore, the more flexible the muscles, the more range of motion we are able to attain from them, or we risk them becoming short and stiff translating to pain in the body.

benefits of Upper bACK stretCHES

  • Increase the overall flexibility and reduces the stiffness of the joints

  • Increase blood circulation and gets more oxygen into the muscles keeping them healthy

  • Corrects your postures and prevents slouching

  • Decreases the risk of muscle damage and pain in the body

  • Gives you peace and calmness

  • Helps with your breathing and releases the chest muscles and gets more oxygen into the lungs

  • Produces long and lean muscles and relieves tension, strain or stress on the muscles.

It’s medically reviewed that stretching will have a positive effect on the body.

Effective upper body stretches

Head tilts

Head Tilt Stretch

These include standing or sitting straight (you can use a wall to attain a good posture of sit on a chair with high backrest). Tilt your head forward toward your chest as if you were looking downwards; hold this position for 30 seconds and return the head back to the original position. Repeat 3 to 5 times and perform the same procedure with your head tilted backward.

rotation for the neck

Neck Rotation Stretch

Tilt your head sideways: for this stretch, gently tilt your head to the side and hold in position for 30 seconds. If you can’t keep your head in place, use your hand to cradle it for the duration. Repeat on the other side and 3 to 5 times.

Head rotations

Head Rotations Stretch

Rotate your head in a circle in one direction for 10 to 15 times and repeat in the opposite direction. These movements will relieve tension and stress in the neck

Shoulder rolls

Shoulder Roll Stretch

To strengthen your shoulders; stand straight with your hands firmly beside your body and gentle the roll the shoulders forward in a circular pattern for 12 to 15 repetitions and repeat in a backward position.

Shoulder blade stretches

Shoulder Blade Stretch

Clasp your fingers together and hold it backward, gently pulling upward to put pressure on the shoulder blades, upper shoulder, back, and neck. Hold this pose for 5 to 10 seconds while pulling up to your limits.

Upper back and shoulder stretches

Upper Back and Shoulder Stretch

Lift your hands above your head and return to the shoulder height. Repeat for 12 to 15 times as gentle as possible

Child Pose

Child Pose'

The child pose is a common yoga pose that gently stretches the spine and upper back muscles while enhancing your posture. To perform, sit on your heels and gentle fall forward until your head touches the floor. Stretch forth your hands forward to strengthen the muscles of the back, shoulder arms and neck.

The spine twist

Spine Twist Stretch

Release tension in upper back and chest with the stretch by standing tall and hold your hand together and twist left and right. Do this for 10 to 12 times.

Triceps stretches

Sit or stand with your spine straight, head held high and neck relaxed, raise your hand up and bend at the elbow with your palm touching the upper back with your second hand exert some pressure on your elbow with the other arm and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat with the other arm too.


  • Speak to your doctor before performing any physical activity including stretches.

  • If you are joining a class, go at your own pace and stop if you feel pain rather than relief

  • Try to do the stretches daily without fail.

  • Increase the intensity gradually with time

  • Listen to your body and stop when you need to

Stretching is the solution to a lot of underlying medical conditions and pain we feel in our body; it is recommended that you should stretch even if you feel no discomfort in your body. The upper back and all the muscles benefit greatly from daily stretches. Exercises to relieve strain and pain in the back are simple and with proper guidance will relax and release tension in the body.

However, any pain or discomfort should be immediately reported to your physician to avoid lasting or intense pain. Exercises like yoga, aerobics, and swimming and simple upper body workout can help stretch the muscles of the upper back.

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