Upper Back Stretch (Back Stretches)

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One of the major benefits of Stretching is that it increases your flexibility. While Stretching may appear a bit bland as compared with resistance exercises such as Training with Free Weights and Weight Training Exercises, without a good stretch, you will not be able to minimize the risk of injury.

Your upper and lower back muscles consist of a large group of muscles that runs from above your hips to your neck, arm, and shoulder areas. The main job of this muscle group is to help you in pulling and lifting loads. By strengthening and stretching your upper and lower back, you will have more strength to pull objects towards you. Strengthen your upper back by doing this exercise regularly:

STEP 1: Stand with your legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart. With arms straight, clasp your fingers in front of you while keeping your lower back firm and your body upright.
STEP 2: Gently push your hands away from you until you feel a stretch across your upper back and at the back of the shoulders. Hold for about 8-10 seconds.

Stress makes your muscles tense up and can cause headache, stiff neck, sore shoulders, and a knotted back. The back takes in tension more than any other part of the body. Also, during a Fitness workout, the back muscles contract, further increasing the tension. Full body stretching will relax your muscles, help you to breathe deeper and release all of the accumulated tension your body takes each day. For a great full, upper, or lower body Stretching Sequence, go to Fitness Exercises: Stretching Sequences.

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