Upper Back Exercises at Home

Upper Back Exercises

Child’s Pose with Rotation

In this upper 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.

When it comes to upper back exercises this is my favorite. Actually, it works well for your entire back. The stretch you get from this exercise can sometimes do wonders. Some upper back exercises can help you if you have chronic lower back pain as I do.

The child’s pose stretches multiple muscles in your back, along with the hips and ankles.  

To begin the Child’s Pose:

Get on all fours in a comfortable position either on a bed or on the floor. Have your wrists, elbows, and shoulders stacked. 

Slowly push your butt back as close to your heels as you can without being uncomfortable.

At the same time, slide your hands ahead of you as far as they will go. 

Tuck your head under.

Hold this stretched position for 30 seconds.

Return to the start position on all fours.

Second Rep:

Slowly push your butt back as close to your heels as you can without being uncomfortable.

At the same time, slide your hands ahead of you as far as they will go. 

This time, rotate your arms to the right walking your hands over using your fingers. 

Hold this stretched position for 30 seconds.

Repeat on the left side this time.  You can repeat this cycle as many times as you want.

Kneeling Thoracic Extension

The upper back exercise this man is attempting do is the kneeling thoracic extension. He is kneeling on a block of foam. His elbows rest on a bench with his head down while he holds wooden rod over his head.

This is one of those upper back exercises that focuses on relieving muscle tension and thoracic back pain.

To Begin the Kneeling Thoracic Extension:

Begin with your knees on the ground, hip-width apart. Lean your elbows on a chair placed in front of you, shoulder-width apart. Reach with your elbows a few inches in front of your shoulders. 

Your head should be between your arms at the bench/chair level.

While keeping your hands and elbows in place, lean your butt back toward your heels as far as possible.

You want to forcefully push your chest down toward the floor to accomplish the thoracic extension.

Hold this position for five seconds. Increase this as you become more conditioned.

Come back up to the starting position and repeat for five sets.

Quadruped Arm and Leg Raise

A lady is on the floor on her knees. She has one hand flat on the floor and the opposite knee on the floor as well. Her other arm is out stright in front of her and the opposite leg is out straight in back of her also.

This exercise can help you strengthen your arm and leg muscles while banishing back pain.

To Begin the Quadruped Arm and Leg Raise:

From a four-point stance on the floor, draw your belly button inward to your spine and clench your butt muscles. 

Simultaneously extend one arm and the opposite leg away from your body.  

Hold for 5 seconds. Hold longer as you progress and get stronger.

Ensure you adopt a thumbs-up position for the arm and keep the extended leg straight at the knee.

Don’t lift either knee higher than parallel to the body. 

Lower under control and repeat with the opposite limbs.

Locust Pose

In this upper back exercise a lady lays on the floor on her stomach holding her head and lower legs up off the floor.

You might want a yoga mat or some padding on the floor. In addition, you may want a folded up blanket or towel to place underneath your pelvis and ribs.

To Begin the Locust Pose:

Lie down on your stomach, with your arms on the floor near the sides of your body and your hands by your hips. 

Rest your forehead on the floor with your neck relaxed, or lie your head turned to one side.

Lift your head, arms, chest, and legs off the floor. Keep your legs straight and together, and your arms parallel to the floor.  

Note: If you are having trouble raising both legs together, raise one and hold it for 10 seconds, then lower it and repeat it with the other leg.

Look straight forward but if you find it to be difficult, simply look down toward the floor.  

Note: If you have trouble raising your arms up, drop your palms to the floor and press down gently to help lift and expand your chest. 

Hold this pose for 10 seconds. Increase this as you get stronger.

Note: If this pose hurts your hips, place a towel between your hip bones and the floor for added cushioning.

Release the pose by lowering your legs, torso, and arms to the floor. 

Repeat this 1 to 2 more times. As you get stronger hold the pose for longer periods of time. You can even increase your repetitions. 

Sphinx Pose

A lady lays face down on the floor resting on her elbows.

The Sphinx Pose is a mini gentle backbend in yoga. This pose is a modification to the Cobra Pose.

To Begin the Sphinx Pose:

Lie down face first on the floor with your feet hip-distance apart. 

Elbows under your shoulders and forearms on the floor facing forward.

Press into your forearms and lift your head, neck, chest, and torso off the floor.

Firm your legs by rotating them by rolling your outer thighs towards the floor. 

Hold in position for 15 seconds

The Sphinx Pose has the weight on the forearms taking it off the wrists.

This pose also counteracts and restores the 3 C’s: Car, Computer, and Couch. Which causes flattening of the lower back and rounding of the upper back caused by long periods of improper sitting.

Seated Forward Bend

A lady sits on the floor with her feet out straight. She is leaning forward a little with her hands on her ankles.

To begin the Seated Forward Bend:

Sit on the floor or on a mat with your legs out straight in front of you. 

A lot of people when they’re starting out have really tight hamstrings along with their back. They find that they can’t get very far. So, if you have a yoga strap or something similar, you might want to use it. 

The first video demonstrates this exercise using the strap. The second video is without a strap for someone who is more advanced. 

Take the strap and wrap it around the soles of your feet.

Sit up nice and tall with your back straight, holding on to those straps. 

Then come forward as far as its comfortable for you. If you are more flexible you can go farther.

You are going to pivot from your hips so you want the pelvis to come over the heads of your femurs, and your head will be an extension of your spine. 

You don’t want to drop your head or round your back because that’s just asking for trouble. 

Keep the length and extension all the way forward to whatever is comfortable for you.  If you start feeling pain then you need to back off immediately.



If the Exercises are Not Working for You?

A Lady is Giving a Thumbs Down.

If these upper 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.

Check out Middle and Lower Back Exercises.

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