Upper Back StretchesUpdated:
Exercises > Flexibility (Joints) > Upper Back Stretches
The following upper back stretches are designed to restore flexibility to the joints and muscles of the upper back. If you are injured, you should discuss the suitability of these upper back stretches with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should be performed 3 times daily provided they do not cause or increase pain.
Upper Back Stretches – Basic Exercises
Shoulder Blade Squeezes
Begin sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible pain-free (figure 1). Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Figure 1 – Shoulder Blade Squeezes
Extension in Sitting
Begin sitting tall, with your hands behind your neck. Gently arch backwards and look up towards the ceiling until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free (figure 2). Repeat 10 times.
Figure 2 – Extension in Sitting
Rotation in Sitting
Begin sitting tall, with your arms across your chest. Keeping your legs still, gently rotate to one side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free (figure 3). Repeat 10 times to each side.
Figure 3 – Rotation in Sitting (left side)
Upper Back Stretches – Advanced Exercises
Upper Back Stretches – Less Common Exercises
Find a Physio to assist with Upper Back Stretches
Find a physiotherapist who can assist with upper back stretches and rehabilitation.
- View Upper Back Strengthening Exercises
- View Core Exercises
- View Upper Body Massage Ball Exercises
- View Upper Body Foam Roller Exercises
- View Upper Body Resistance Band Exercises
- View Basic Pilates Exercises
- View Basic Swissball Exercises
Physiotherapy Products for Upper Back Exercises
- Resistance Band (For Strengthening Exercises)
- Massage Balls (For Self Massage)
- Foam Rollers (For Self Massage and Pilates Exercises)
- Swiss Balls
- Exercise Mats
To purchase physiotherapy products for upper back exercises click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.
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Upper back stretches are a vital component in the rehabilitation of most upper back injuries and can help to restore flexibility to the joints, muscles and soft tissue of the upper back. Upper back flexibility exercises can also be performed proactively to prevent injury and enhance activity, sporting performance and posture. You should discuss the suitability of any new exercise regime with your physiotherapist prior to commencement.
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