Looking for upper/mid back stretches.
August 11, 2005 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Looking for upper/mid back stretches.

My mid/upper back gets really tight/sore just inside of my scapula. I'm not sure if its due to working out, sitting at the desk all day or postural problems but some days it really bugs me. Anyways, I can't seem to find any stretches that really work this area and short of going for regular massages (which I really should be doing) I'd like to lessen the discomfort.
posted by trillion to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hang from a bar. Try some gentle chin-ups. Works best immediately after a sleep or rest, when your muscles are relaxed.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:47 AM on August 11, 2005

Do the "child's pose" from yoga: sit on your knees, then pull your body back on top of them so that your bottom rests on your heels. Extend your arms straight out on the floor in front of you, and rest your forehead on the floor.

Also, if you have anything resembling the bar that runs along a dance studio, hang onto it and lean back with your butt. Your body should make a "C" shape (or a sideways "V"), with your hands on the bar as the top point, your feet on the floor as the bottom point, and your bottom as the outward curve.
posted by equipoise at 10:23 AM on August 11, 2005

Here's some my chiropractor gave me:

1) If you have a strong pole or post that you can pull on, stand with your feet almost touching the pole, grasp it with both hands and simply lean back.

2) If you don't have a pole but do have a doorway with solid molding, stand in the door way with your feet close to one corner and grab the frame by reaching across your body. Again, simply lean away from the grasping hand. Repeat on the other side.

3) Lacking either of those, "hug yourself" and grasp your shoulders. Lean forward while pulling gently on your shoulders.

Stretching should never really hurt (though you'll probably feel some resistance) and when doing the leaning described about, go slowly. Relaxing, along with deep, regular breathing, can often help.
posted by tommasz at 10:38 AM on August 11, 2005

I often do the just the upper-body part of the eagle pose. Totally gets that area right between the shoulder blades.

I've also been finding recently that keeping my shoulder blades against my back, while a great deal of work while my body gets used to that, is releasing a lot of tension in that area of my body. Stand up straight and put your arms out in front of you, palms up. Now, keeping your arms straight and just using the muscles in your back, pull your shoulders back. Let your arms float down. That's where your shoulders should be pretty much all the time.

I do that throughout the day to get my shoulders aligned, and to make sure I'm not holding them in ways that are going to create tension later.
posted by occhiblu at 10:38 AM on August 11, 2005

Here are my two favorite stretch sites. Each has several that work near the shoulder blades.
posted by klarck at 4:00 PM on August 11, 2005

Get on your knees. Put your head down on the ground. Reach through between your knees. If you can grab your feet do so, otherwise your ankles will do. Now push your shoulders forward and up. Should produce a good stretch in upper-mid back. I do this semi-regularly, whenever I spend too much time in a chair.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:20 PM on August 11, 2005

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