How to Crack the Back

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Unlike cracking your neck, which can be dangerous because it loosens the ligaments too much and may take your neck out of alignment, cracking your back can be good for you--and it often relieves back tension and minor pain. You can crack your back in a number of ways, so explore them all and see what works best for you.

Crack Your Back Yourself

  • Sit upright on a chair. Grasp the left side of the chair with your right hand and turn your torso to the left until you feel a good stretch or until your back cracks.

  • Do the half spinal twist yoga pose. Sit on the floor with your left knee bent and your right leg tucked underneath you. Place your left foot to the right of your right leg, and place your right arm to the left of your left leg. Turn to the left to open your spine and crack your back. Repeat on the other side.

  • Recline on your back for a gentle way to crack your back. Extend your right leg and bend your left so the sole rests flat on the ground. Keeping your left shoulder on the ground, slowly stretch your left knee as far to the right as possible. Repeat with the right leg.

  • Lie face down. Keep your hips and legs on the ground as you turn your torso until you're supported by your right shoulder. Reach your left arm behind you, keeping it in a relatively straight line with your shoulders. Repeat on the other side.

Crack Your Back with a Friend

  • Cross your arms in front of your chest. Use your right hand to hold your left shoulder and your left hand to hold your right shoulder. Have your friend stand behind you and hold your right elbow in her left hand and your left elbow in her right hand. She should pull your elbows while simultaneously pushing against your back with her chest.

  • Stand back-to-back with a friend. Have him slowly lean forward while you arch your back into his and lift your arms over your head. This results in a safe and supported backbend.

  • Lie facedown on a bed or mat. If you have a friend who doesn't weigh much, have her walk barefoot on your back, stepping to either side of your spine. Don't let her walk on your lower back because that can cause damage.

  • Recline facedown and have your friend sit on your back. He should place his hands horizontally across your back on either side of your spine. Have him push into your back, starting at the top and working his way down. He should be able to feel your back crack, but let him know if he's using too much pressure.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your back is already flexible and mobile, you probably won't always be able to crack it. The steps for cracking a back also stretches the back, so you should feel the benefits even without a distinct crack.
  • If you have any spinal problems, talk to your doctor or a chiropractor before you crack your back.
  • Be aware of any pain or uncomfortable pressure when you try to crack your back. If anything feels weird or painful, stop.
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