Whenever you are playing a sport like gymnastics or doing certain activities like dancing, some back flexibility may be needed. But what if you realize that you are not as flexible as other people? Should you desist from performing such tasks? Of course not! You only need practice and time to improve your movement range.
Back Flexibility Exercises
1. Pike Stretch
- Sit on the floor while keeping your legs straight forward. Then reach towards your feet in a slow motion, trying to touch your toes without separating too much your knees from the floor and keeping you back as straight as you can.
- Another way to do a pike stretch is to stand on your feet, keep them hips width apart and slowly bend towards your toes.
If you cannot accomplish this. Do not worry. Keep doing it with the correct form and you will improve little by little.
2. Camel Pose
Camel pose is one of the effective back flexibility exercises. This position can be done with two variations; just pick the one that better suits you.
Part standing or putting your feet and knees on the ground. Then slowly reach backwards towards your heels or buttocks, first with one hand and then with the other one, while naturally pushing your hips forward until you feel the stretch in your back muscles. Do not push yourself too much to avoid an injury.
3. Back Bend (Bridge)
Lie down and put the sole of your feet on the floor while flexing your knees up. Then put the palm of your hands at each side of your head (with your fingers facing your shoulders) and then push yourself up while extending your legs and arms to make a “bridge”.
4. Animal-Pose Stretches
- Cobra stretch: Lay down on your abdomen and legs while maintaining balance with your extended arms and hands. Then flex your elbows up and down, bending your head back while your arms are straight.
- Swan stretch: Initiate in the cobra stretch position and slowly try to bring your feet towards your head as close as you can. Do not force any movement.
- Cat stretch: Put your knees and hands on the floor at hip width. Then slowly bend your back up to the ceiling while keeping your head down. Maintain the position for a few seconds and then lift your head up while slowly bending your back down. You can also do an advanced cat stretch by sliding your arms forward to the ground until your shoulders touch the floor.
5. Basket Stretch
When it comes to back flexibility exercises, try this basket stretch. Make a basket form by grabbing your ankles while lying on your abdomen and slowly lifting up your head, torso and lower legs.
6. Splits Stretches
Make a lunge and push your pelvis down while maintaining your balance. Then sit onto your bent leg and reach forward to your front leg, trying to put your forehead on your knee. Maintain this position for at least 30 seconds for each leg. Then, try to go down and push as far as you can without risking to hurt yourself.
It may seem like a very difficult or impossible task, but with practice, you will improve and slowly start to notice the difference.
7. Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Lie down on your back while keeping your knees bent and your feet soles on the ground. Grab a knee with both hands and pull it towards your stomach. Make sure to keep your back and neck flat on the floor while you do this. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
Grab your other knee and repeat. Then return to the start position and grab both of your knees with both hands and pull up again. Do this exercise three to four times each session, at least twice a day.
8. Lower Back Rotational Stretch
Lie down on your back while keeping your knees bent and your feet soles on the ground. Then roll both your knees to the left side of the floor; make sure to keep your shoulders and neck on the ground. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat to the right side. Do this stretch twice a day.
9. Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch
Sit on a stool or a chair that has no arms and cross your left leg over the right one. Then put your right elbow on the outside of your left knee and push yourself to the side while stretching your back muscles. Change your legs position and repeat for the other side.
- Make an appointment with your doctor to make sure that you are suitable to do all these exercises.
- When doing back flexibility exercises, do not force yourself into doing any movement out of your range.
- Keep breathing during the stretches and stop immediately if you experience any kind of pain or pinch.