Lower back pain costs American’s nearly $100 billion annually. Between medical costs and lost work, that’s a daunting burden. Many of the same conditions that cause low back pain, such as work, can also contribute to upper back pain.

Upper back stretches can relieve pain, keep you working, and improve your workout. Here are a few benefits from incorporating upper back stretches into your routine.

Prepare Your Muscles

Stretching before a workout helps limber up and loosen your muscles. This makes it less likely you’ll strain or pull a tense muscle.

On top of that, stretching increases blood flow. This will help prevent your muscles from getting sore, and it will improve your recovery time.

Improve Your Range of Motion

Regular stretching will help improve your range of motion. This can keep you from pulling a muscle and prevent other injuries. Plus, by maintaining a full range of motion, you’ll decrease the effects of aging on the body.

Improve Your Posture

Stand up straight, hold your head high. Regular stretching has been scientifically proven to improve your posture. This can make you look more confident and attractive.  Talk about a perk!

Heal and Prevent Back Pain

As we covered, stretching helps prepare your muscles for a workout. This can prevent injuries and back pain.

On top of that, regular stretching keeps your muscles limbered and loose. This, in turn, prevents pain. And if you’ve recently experienced an injury, stretching can help you recover faster.

Relieve Stress

Stretching draws your attention into your body. So, like meditation, it can help relieve stress and center your mind.

To get the most out of your stretching practice, practice mindfulness as well. Bring your attention to your body. Notice your breath and the way the stretches feel.

Practice These Upper Back Stretches

Start with your feet wider than your hips, and reach in front of you. Drop your chin to your chest, and bend at the waist. It should feel as though you’re slowly unstacking your vertebrae.

Focus on this sensation and reach as far as you can.

Cat Cow Stretch

For anyone who practices yoga, you know this staple stretch. Start on all fours with a neutral back. Round through your upper back, drop your tailbone, and release your chin to your chest.  Hold this position for a breath or two. This is the cat pose.

Then, arch your tailbone, release your stomach, and lift your chin. You should feel a stretch across your shoulders. Hold this position for a breath or two. This is the cow pose.

Swap between the two poses repeatedly to complete the stretch. Check out this article for more stretching tips.

Upper Back Stretches are Vital for Every Workout

Incorporating upper back stretches into your workout routine can dramatically improve your workouts. On top of that, you’ll have a better range of motion and better posture.

If you’ve experienced a back injury like a pulled or strained muscle, talk to us. We can use stretching to help you recover faster.

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