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How to Stretch Your Back

4 of 9 in Series: The Essentials of Stretching

This back expansion move stretches and loosens your shoulders, arms, upper-back, and lower-back muscles. Read on to see how to stretch your back.

Don’t stretch your muscles until you’ve at least warmed up thoroughly. Stretching at the end of your workout is even better.

Follow these steps to perform the back expansion:

  1. Standing tall with your knees slightly bent and feet hip-width apart, lift your arms in front of you to shoulder height.

    Clasp one hand in the other.

  2. Drop your head toward your chest, pull your abdominals inward, round your lower back, and tuck your hips forward so that you create a C shape with your torso.

  3. Stretch your arms forward so that you feel your shoulder blades moving apart and you create an “opposition” to your rounded back.

    You should feel a mild stretch slowly spread through your back and shoulders.

    The back expansion stretches your shoulders, arms, and back. [Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Produ
    Credit: Photograph by Sunstreak Productions, Inc.
    The back expansion stretches your shoulders, arms, and back.

Keep in mind the following tips as you perform the back expansion:

  • Keep your abdominal muscles pulled inward to protect your lower back.

  • Lean only as far forward as you feel comfortable and balanced.

  • Keep your shoulders down and relaxed.

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