Back Stretching Exercises

back stretches

This series of back stretching exercises will stretch the lower and upper back. Stretching your back muscles help keep it healthy and strong.

Back stretches are one of the best ways to help protect the back and prevent back injuries.

With the everyday activities we do the back muscles tighten up and can cause back pain and potential injury. This is more prevalent as we age.

We’ve all probably had a time or two where we lifted something and felt the stabbing pain in our lower back or woke up one morning feeling stiff and sore in the back.

Keeping your back muscles stretched and loose can help alleviate the back pain and soreness.

There are six different videos in this fitness series. Several of the videos demonstrate more than one exercise for stretching the back. Each page includes step by step instructions along with the video so you can ensure you are doing them correctly.

List of Back Stretching Exercises

If you want to go through the entire video series, just us the next button further down on the page. Otherwise, click on a link below to go directly to a specific stretching exercise.

Lower Back Videos
Lower Back Stretches
There are four different exercises on this page with one video that demonstrates them all.

Low Back Stretches #2
As with the page above, there is more than one exercise demonstrated by one video on this page.

Seated Back Stretch
This is one you can do at home or at the office.

Upper Back Videos

Reach Out Stretch

Reach Up Stretch

Exercise Ball Stretch

In addition to these back stretching exercises, try these lower back strengthening workout.

Anatomy of the Back Muscles

The muscles of the back are divided into two specific groups. These are the extrinsic muscles and the intrinsic muscles.

The extrinsic group is associated with the upper extremities and shoulder movement while the intrinsic muscles help to maintain your posture and move the vertebral column.

Extrinsic Group
In this group of back muscles, you have superficial muscles and intermediate muscles. The superficial layer is the v-shape area associated with the upper and middle back.

They connect the upper extremities to your trunk. This superficial layer includes the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, levator scapulae and the rhomboids.

The intermediate layer includes the serratus posterior, superior and inferior. Their primary function is involved with respiration.

When thinking in terms of upper back stretching exercises, it is the superficial layer that you are stretching.

Intrinsic Group
This group of muscles stretch all the way from the pelvic to your head. The intrinsics group is divided into three different groups; the superficial layer, the intermediate layer and the deep layer of muscles.

The superficial layer consists of splenius capitis and splenius cervicis muscles. These muscles laterally flex, rotate and extend your head and neck.

The intermediate layer are the erector spinae muscles and are the muscles you think of when talking about lower back stretches. These lay on either side of the vertebral column and their primary job is to extend the vertebral column and maintain proper posture.

The deep layer of muscles in the intrinsic group include semispinalis muscles, multifidus muscles and the rotatores muscles.

While the names and functions of these muscles can be a bit complicated, keeping your back strong does not have to be. Be sure to do strengthening and stretching exercises to maintain a healthy back.

Additional Articles

Free Fitness Videos
Check out all the fitness videos on this site. You will find some upper and lower back strengthening workouts, abdominal exercises and more.

Benefits of Stretching

Stretching your back can help minimize pain and injury. There are many more benefits of stretching your back and your entire body.

Exercise Motivation
Exercising can help you lose weight, relieves stress and so much more. If you need some tips to get you motivated, then read this article.