5 Back Exercises to Make You Feel Like You’ve Just Had a Massage
We all know that sedentary jobs can be harmful to our backs. Discomfort, pain and muscle cramps make our posture worse and prove to be incredibly inconvenient in our day to day. If you don’t have time to get a massage but feel like you may need some relaxation and more energy, these five effective stretching exercises will come in handy. And the best part? You can do them right in your office chair!
At Bright Side, we have already tried this mini-yoga workout and believe us when we say it’s worth it! These exercises are based on traditional stretching routines and can easily be done at the office. Try them and your back will thank you! And don’t forget to read until the end of the article where you’ll find a fun bonus!
1. Butterfly wings
Targeted zones and results: Neck bones, spinal posture correction and improvement of blood circulation.
Starting position: Sit on the edge of the chair with your back straight and feet on the floor shoulder width apart.
This exercise combines several yoga poses including Bhujangasan and Dhanrassan. Position both your hands behind your head, bend your elbows and lock your arms behind the neck. Try to push your elbows back as far as possible. Inhale, extend your arms and push your chest forward. Then exhale, come back to the starting position and arch your back trying to push your chest back. You should feel a gentle muscle stretch, but keep in mind that you should stop if you feel any pain during this exercise.
Do 5 repetitions.
2. Cat cow
Targeted zones and results: Low back pain relief, correction of the position of the lumbar vertebrae.
Starting position: Sit on the chair with a straight back and arms placed on your knees.
Inhale while gently take your shoulders back and stretching the chest. Try to make your shoulder blades touch, but do not lift the shoulders! As you exhale, round your back placing your shoulders forward and curl your neck towards the chest.
Do 8 repetitions.
3. Chair twist
Targeted zones and results: Lower back pain relief, impoved digestion.
Starting position: Sit on the chair with straight back and feet on the floor.
Inhale and straighten your spine. As you exhale, twist towards the back of the chair trying to keep your core strong. Place your hands on the chair and don’t round the shoulders. Stay in this position for 30 seconds, take 5 deep breaths and then change the position.
Do 3 repetitions for each side.
4. Side bend
Targeted zones and results: Improved blood circulation, stretching of oblique abdominal muscles and chest muscles.
Starting position: Sit on the chair with a straight back.
Place one hand on the chair and relax the shoulder to make it go down. Then put the other hand straight up to the sky and start bending to the side. You should feel a gentle stretch at this point. Keep your body straight and try not to lean forward or back.
Do 10 repetitions for each side.
5. Chair pigeon
Targeted zones and results: Relaxed feet, glutes and lower back stretch.
Starting position: Sit on the chair with a straight back. Place the right ankle on top of the left knee.
Put your body forward, feel the stretch and try to touch the hips with your stomach. Keep your back straight! Hold this position for 30 seconds, take 5 deep breaths and then change the position.
Do 2-3 repetitions for each leg.
Bonus: The best lower back stretching exercise
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to do this exercise at the office as your starting position will be lying on your back. But it’s extremely effective, so it’s worth giving it a try at home.
This exercise is perfect for stretching and relaxing the lower back and glutes. No wonder pilates instructors love it so much! This position is one of the most effective when trying to minimize back pain and it’s a perfect finishing exercise for every workout. Besides, you can do it before going to bed to relax.
Starting position: Lying on your back.
Bring your bent knees towards the chest. Hold your left knee and bring it as close to your body as possible and straighten your right leg as you put it on the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Then bring both your legs toward the chest again and change sides.
Note that you shouldn’t put one leg on the floor unless the other is pressed against the chest as it influences the quality of the stretch significantly.
Which exercise do you find most effective? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!