After a long day of sitting at work or constantly bending over while gardening, your back muscles can feel like one huge kink that limits your flexibility. Stretching regularly alleviates muscle and joint stiffness, allowing you to continue your work with much less discomfort. Don't stretch in one direction or just one muscle group. Move your hip and shoulders with your back muscles in different directions. This will improve your joints' range of motion and tissue elasticity even more.
Things You'll Need
- Stability ball
Kneel on both knees and hands in front of a stability ball. Put your right hand on top of the ball in a karate chop position with your thumb pointing up. Your right elbow shoulder be bent.
Exhale as you extend your right arm ahead of you while keeping your neck in alignment with your back and hip. The ball should move forward with your hand. Do not stick your head forward. Hold this position for three deep breaths.
Move your right hand toward the midline of your body, moving the ball with your hand until you feel a stretch radiating from your armpit down to the right side of your back. Hold the stretch for three deep breaths.
Return your arm to the starting position, and repeat the stretch four to five more times. Switch arm position and repeat the stretch on your left side.
Lie on the floor on your right side with your knees and hips bent at about 90 degrees. Place a rolled-up towel beneath your head. Extend both arms in front of you with your palms together. Your right arm and hand should be resting on the floor.
Exhale as you turn your torso to your left, lifting your left arm over your body and bringing it toward the floor as close as you can while keeping your lower body still. Reach upward with your right hand and with your right palm facing your left. Do not move your lower body as you hold the stretch for two deep breaths.
Inhale as you rotate your body back to the starting position. Perform eight to 10 reps per side.
Stand with your feet together, inhale deeply and raise your arms up toward your head with your palms facing each other.
Exhale slowly out of your mouth as you bend your torso forward and reach for your toes. Bend your knees slightly as you bend forward. Hold the stretch for one deep breath.
Inhale as you raise your body and arms back to the starting position. Perform eight to 10 reps.