Back 2

Targeted Muscles: Back
What You Need: Sturdy chair with armrests
Talk to Your Doctor: If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
 
Tip: As you progress, try lifting your left arm and resting it comfortably on the back of the chair. Hold on to the left armrest with your right arm. Repeat on right side.
This exercise will help you do activities that require you to twist or turn to look behind you, such as backing out of a parking space or swinging a golf club. If you've had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before trying this stretch.
  1. Sit up toward the front of a sturdy chair with armrests. Stay as straight as possible. Keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Slowly twist to the left from your waist without moving your hips. Turn your head to the left. Lift your left hand and hold on to the left arm of the chair. Place your right hand on the outside of your left thigh. Twist farther, if possible.
  3. Hold the position for 10-30 seconds.
  4. Slowly return to face forward.
  5. Repeat on the right side.
  6. Repeat at least 3-5 more times.

Safety

  • Avoid “locking” your joints. Straighten your arms and legs when you stretch them, but don’t hold them tightly in a straight position. Always keep them slightly bent while stretching.

  • Always stretch with a smooth, steady movement. Don’t jerk or bounce into the stretch; it may cause injury.

  • A mild pulling feeling while you are stretching is normal. If you feel sharp or stabbing pain or joint pain, you’re stretching too far. Reduce the stretch so it doesn’t hurt.

  • Always remember to breathe normally while holding a stretch.

  • Always warm up before stretching exercises. Stretching your muscles before they are warmed up can result in injury. If you are doing only stretching exercises, warm up with a few minutes of easy walking first. If you are doing endurance or strength exercises, stretch after, not before.

  • If you’ve had hip or back surgery, talk with your doctor before doing lower-back flexibility exercises.