Thread the Needle
This middle back exercise stretches the sides of the body, including your latissimus dorsi. Which is the largest muscle in your upper back. Thread the Needle is one of those middle back exercises that will also help loosen the muscles in the upper back. To get the most out of this pose, concentrate on keeping your arms extended outwards. Maintain a stretch that is comfortable, yet not painful. The more experienced you get you will find that happy medium.
To Begin Thread the Needle:
Get on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are lined up directly under your hips. Then have your feet in line with the knees.
Hold the hips, knees, and feet in place. Walk your hands out in front until they are under your shoulders. Hold the arms straight to feel a slight stretch down the sides.
Take your right arm and move it under your left arm while rotating the chest. The right hand should be resting on the floor, palm up.
If you can, try lowering the right shoulder as far as you can, while slowly placing the right side of your head onto the floor. Now look past your armpit, up towards the ceiling.
You want to hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
Push upward, then use your right arm to return to the start position. Repeat the stretch but this time use the left arm.
Similar to the Child’s Pose, the Cat-Cow Pose is another one of those simple, gentle-like exercises. Performing this exercise consistently will eventually increase your flexibility.
To begin the Cat-Cow Pose:
Get on your hands and knees, with the knees aligned below the hips and the wrists below the shoulders. Spread your fingers out wide, then press them through the fingertips to effectively spread around the weight. The spine should be resting in a neutral position.
Take a breathe in. Let the stomach drop toward the floor, and stick your buttocks out. Lift your head and shoulders while pushing the chest out, looking forward. This is the Cow part of this pose.
Now breathe out. Arch your back upward like a cat. Tuck in your pelvis toward the ribs. This will pull the shoulder blades away from each other along with your stomach away from the floor. Let your head drop toward the floor.
Focus on tightening your stomach muscles. Hold it for 15 to 30 seconds each time when you are first starting out.
Switch between these two poses 5–10 times. Remember, to take it nice and slow.
Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
This is one of those middle back exercises a person can do while seated or standing. It is important to keep the spine elongated and the chest raised. This simple exercise also stretches the serratus muscles under the arms.
To begin the latissimus dorsi stretch:
Reach your arms up, fully extended towards the sky. Interlace your fingers, pressing palms up.
Now really reach up with your hands, feeling that stretch. Focus on your breathing and hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
Keep your fingers interlaced and arms extended. Tilt your body to one side. Feel the stretch along your rib cage and upper back. Hold for 8 to 10 breaths.
Tilt your body to the other side and repeat. Then come back to the center and start the process over again.
Go through the cycle 2 to 3 times. You can do more if you feel you need it.
Passive Thoracic Extension Backbend
This simple pose can bring relief after sitting at a desk all day. It stretches the scalene neck muscles, the serratus muscles, and the chest. The passive backbend involves placing a supporting object beneath the back, such as a back roller, a foam noodle, or a rolled-up towel or yoga mat. Research has shown how exercises like Passive Thoracic Extension Backbend can ease back pain. Trust me, it works.
To Begin the Passive Thoracic Extension Back-bend:
Place the roll on the floor.
Lie on the roll so that it rests beneath the shoulder blades, near the middle of the back. Place something under the head if it also needs elevation.
Bring the arms away from the body, resting at a 45-degree angle.
Hold this position for 1–2 minutes. You can repeat this multiple times.
This yoga pose is basically a backbend. If you have any middle back pain, you may find that you cannot go very far when you start out. Never push a stretch beyond what is comfortable. Back-bends can be very helpful in stretching the chest while strengthening the spine muscles.
To begin the Cobra Pose:
Lay on the floor with your face-down. Extend your legs, resting the tops of your feet on the floor.
Place your hands under your shoulders, with the fingertips pointing forward. Bend your elbows tucking your arms into your body.
Now immerse your buttocks and leg muscles. This is to help push your legs and feet to the floor. This is really important because it supports the lower back while the spine extends and the chest lifts.
Push up, using your arms to gradually lift your head, followed by your chest from the floor.
If you can, bend your back more by straightening your arms and lifting your chest up more from the floor. You may not be able to do this and that’s OK. Only go as far as it feels comfortable.
Hold this for 20–30 seconds. Then, slowly return your body to the floor.
Repeat the stretch 2 to 4 times.
The bridge is a stretch that can strengthen the muscles that run alongside the spine. In addition, it will help the buttocks and abdomen muscles get stronger. If you do this stretch on a regular basis. It can help you maintain an upright posture while sitting or standing.
To Begin the Bridge:
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Your feet should sit flat on the floor, tucked in as close as possible to your buttocks, and the arms resting along your side.
Squeeze your buttocks, then raise your pelvis up towards the sky while rolling your torso up until the back is up off the ground. Your shoulders should now be supporting your body weight.
Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds while squeezing the buttocks muscles.
Slowly lower your torso, gradually letting your spine touch the floor until your entire backrests flat again.
Repeat this 5 –15 times per set, and gradually build up to 3 sets.
If these Exercises to Relieve Middle Back Pain are Not Working for You?
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Hi, I’m Drew. If you are suffering from back pain be it chronic or intermittent. I would love to hear your story?