How to Stretch the Spine


Stretching is an extremely important part of fitness, as it lengthens the muscles, increase circulation and reduces tension in the muscles and joints. Spinal stretches can be a great way to improve posture and reduce common back problems. If you are looking for a way to pamper your spine, a few stretches will do you body good.

  • Stand with your feet about hip width apart and reach your arms up overhead, reaching towards the sky and lengthening your spine. Keep pushing out with your hands as you bend at the waist, slowing bringing your hands towards the floor. When you reach your furthest comfortable stretch, cross your arms, holding your elbows, and allow the weight of your torso to stretch your spine. Hold for at least 5 breaths before engaging your abdominals and slowing coming back to standing.

  • Sit on the floor on a comfortable surface, such as carpeting or a yoga mat and extend your legs in front of your with your feet about hip width apart. Flex your feet and then stretch your arms up overhead. Gently bend forward at the waist, keeping your spine straight and stretch towards your toes, going on as far as is comfortable. Hold the stretch for 5 long, deep breaths before coming up to sitting and repeating.

  • Roll onto your back carefully, draw your knees into your chest and then roll back and forth and side to side to massage the spine. Release your left leg and extend your left arm straight out to your side, turning your face to look at your hand. Cross your right knee over your body, bringing it as near to the floor as possible without picking your shoulders off of the ground. Hold the stretch for 5 full breaths and then come to center, draw both knees to your chest and repeat on the opposite side.

  • Bend your knees bringing your feet closer to your buttocks while leaving your feet flat on the ground. Push into your heels and lift your hips and torso off of the ground, rolling your weight onto your shoulders. Hold here, or for a deeper stretch, hold your hands below your hips and roll your shoulders in. Hold for 5 breaths before releasing your hands and slowing rolling back to the mat one vertebrae at a time.

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