The Best Top 10 Middle Back Exercises

Middle Back Exercises

Middle Back Exercises – In general, if you have pain or discomfort in the area of your middle back where the rib cage is connected to your chest region, then you are suffering from middle back pain. When it comes to Middle Back Pain it is usually chronic in nature. Aging is the main reason for middle back pain. If you have bad posture or sleeping problems, then you are most likely to suffer from middle back pain. Researchers have proven that your middle back pain can be curbed by doing middle back exercises.

Reasons for Middle Back Pain

  • A sudden movement or lifting heavy objects could cause a sprain in your back muscles.
  • Having the condition of a slipped disc where the disk will put pressure on the nerve, affecting the spine. If the slipped disc is located in the middle back region. That is most likely the cause of pain.
  • If you are doing exercises for back pain and are targeting the wrong muscles. This may be your cause for the middle back pain you are feeling. Additionally, this could increase the chances of straining other parts as well.
  • Too much exercise can tax your midsection causing pain and discomfort. It can strain the muscles a lot. If you continue to overdo it this can really strain your muscles. Really, when it comes to performing these middle back exercises take it slow. 

Get Relief with Middle Back Exercises

A lady holds her arms up to the sunny sky in relief.

Middle back pain and stiffness that comes with it can have a major impact on your daily life. I know this to be very true from years of experience. There are specific stretches that are focused on relieving pain and improving your flexibility. Back pain, especially short-term pain, is at the top of the list of common medical complaints in the United States.

When it comes to any kind of back pain, there are always different variables to consider when searching for a resolution. You have to consider lifestyle factors, injuries, and medical conditions. One or a combination of those factors can lead to back pain.

Exercise is considered one of the best things you could possibly do for back pain. Proper exercise will help your entire body to work well together as a team. It will also help maintain a healthier and stronger body. An even better benefit is reducing the pain from various body locations. Middle back exercises specifically targeted to the midsection is known to take away middle back pain.

The following middle back exercises are easy to do and can literally be done anywhere. They can help relieve your middle back pain, loosen those tight muscles, and improve your overall mobility. All exercises below include detailed instructions and video examples. 

It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise regiment. If your back problems are not in the middle back I do have exercises for the Upper and Lower Back

Middle Back Exercises

Seated Spinal Twist

For this middle back exercise a lady sits on a yoga mat. She has one leg out straight and the other leg is bent and crossed over the straight leg. She is holding the knee on the bent leg and the other arm is down with her hand on the mat.

To Begin the Seated Spinal Twist:

Begin seated in staff pose. This consists of sitting on the floor on your butt. Stretch your legs out straight in front with your hands face down on the side of your body. 

Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the ground outside of your left thigh. You can keep your left leg stretched out, or bend it and place your left heel under your right glute (butt cheek).

Turn your torso to the right, taking your right hand placing it behind your sacrum. Wrap your left arm around your right leg and place your right hand on the ground behind your sacrum.

This will lengthen your spine, then place your left arm on the outside of your right thigh. Using your arm, press it into your thigh. At the same time, leverage the thigh, pressing into your arm to twist. Hold this for 20 seconds to start out and remember to breathe. 

Now repeat on the other side.

Child’s Pose

In this middle back exercise a lady is on her knees on the floor leaning all the way forward so her head touches the floor. Her arms are out straight over her head, hands palms down.

The Child’s Pose is a very simple yoga pose. It allows the spine to decompress passively while you rest over your knees. I look forward to the child’s pose after doing a few sets of other stretches. Coming back to the child’s pose makes it feel that much better.

To Begin the Child’s Pose:

Start with kneeling on the floor. Have your hips and buttocks resting on top of your lower legs and feet.

Space the knees apart to where it feels comfortable. Lean your body forward and bring the chest down towards your knees.

If you can, place your forehead on the floor while your arms stretch out in front. Gently rest your hands on the floor, keeping the arms straight.

Rest in this position for 20 to 30 seconds.

Then return to the upright position. You can repeat this as many times as you want.

Thread the Needle

A lady is on the floor on her knee's for this middle back exercise. The upper part of her body is turned to the side. The arm closest to the floor is stretched out straight. While the other arm is stretched out straight across her head.

This yoga pose 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.

Cat-Cow Pose

In this image for this middle back exercise. There are two images in one. On top is a lady on her hands and knee's. She has her back arched towards the floor with her head facing up. Then the bottom image the same lady has her back and mid section arched up. Her head is facing down.

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

There is two images in one. The image to the left, a lady stands with her arms up above her head stretched out with her fingers interlaced and palms up. The image to the right, the same lady stands with her arms up above her head stretched out with her fingers interlaced and palms up. She has her body tilted to the side some stretching her side.

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

A lady lays on the floor with a pillow supporting her upper body and head. She is face up to the ceiling with her arms down beside her, palms up. Her legs have a support pad underneath them and her legs are crossed Indian style.

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. 

To Begin the Passive Thoracic Extension Backbend:

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. 

Cobra Pose

A lady lays on her stomach on the floor. She is holding her upper torso straight up in the air and holds it there with her hands flat on the floor in front of her.

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.


A lady lays on her back on a mat, She is pushing her mid section up resting her body on her shoulders. Her knees are bent and feet are flat on the floor.

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 the Exercises are Not Working for You?


If these middle back exercises are not working for you, that’s okay they are not for everyone. If you are looking for more immediate pain relief? Many of the products I review will give you the pain relief you are looking for in a matter of minutes. You can view those reviews here.

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