5 Easy Stretches for Relieving Back Tension

Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
Tension in the back and back pain may be more common than common courtesy, and certainly less enjoyable. Eighty percent of people in the U.S. experience lower back pain sometime, according to WebMD.com. You may have tension in your upper or lower back that isn’t exactly painful, but might become so if you don’t stretch it out. Some of the best back stretches to get rid of tension are also some of the simplest. These exercises could also reduce existing pain.

5 Cat-Cow Exercise

Veronika Surovtseva / Shutterstock

The cat-cow exercise is two stretches in one. By moving through a back arch and rounding the back, you stretch the full length of your spine in both directions for complete tension relief. Just start on all fours, and then arch your back and look up. Next, look down and round your back toward the ceiling. It is customary to move slowly from pose to pose, only pausing for a second in each direction.

4 Knee-to-Chest Stretch

Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images

The knee-to-chest stretch is incredibly easy and has the benefit of letting you target one side of your back at a time. You may find that your right or left side is tenser than the other, and then you can stretch that side more often. Simply lie on your back with your legs straight and then bring one knee to your chest. Hold the knee there and take a few deep breaths. Then, switch legs. Can’t get much easier than that. You can do both legs too if you want.

3 Child’s Pose

Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Child’s pose is perhaps one of the best-known yoga poses, although not quite as popular as savasana. You do that one every time you lie on your back and relax, which isn’t a bad idea if your back is bothering you. For child’s pose, just kneel on the floor, sit on your calves and fold your upper body forward onto your knees. You can rest your arms at your sides facing behind you and touch your forehead to the floor. This is a great position to just rest in, taking deep breaths for as long as is comfortable.

2 Sphinx Pose

Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Sphinx pose is an easy yoga exercise that is great for back issues. Through a gentle back bend, you stretch your spine as well as open your chest. Unlike the more challenging cobra and upward facing dog poses, sphinx requires only a short range of motion. You simply lie on your abdomen, place your hands next to your shoulders and then arch your back as you lift your chest off the floor. You can stretch your neck too by looking up at the ceiling. You don’t need to hold this longer than the time it takes for a few slow breaths.

1 Reach for Your Toes

John Howard/Photodisc/Getty Images

A tense back can inhibit your flexibility, making something as simple as reaching forward to touch the floor impossible. An excellent way to rectify this situation is to just do it, bend forward at the waist and try to grab your big toes. Reach for the floor and let your upper body hang as you take three to five deep breaths. If you can grab your toes, gently pull yourself down.

Top 5 College Dorm Room Must-Haves Top 5 College Dorm Room Must-Haves