4 Stretches That Are Great For Your Back

stretches for back
By Fara Rosenzweig

You know the feeling of a great stretch. You feel the stress evaporate from your body as you bend and pull. As good as it feels for you, it feels even better for your body, especially your back, where you hold a lot of tension from working out and daily stresses.

Add these four stretches into your weekly routine, performing them twice a week to keep your back flexible, healthy and happy.

Laying Back Twist

Lay on your back, arms out to the side and knees upright. Slowly release your knees down to your right side-keep knees bent. Be sure both shoulders are touching the mat and hold for 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the left.

Legs Up the Wall

Lay on your back with your your buttocks up against a wall. Extend your legs up so that they're resting completely on the wall with your back on the ground. This relaxes the muscles of your lower back and has also been found to relieve stress. Hold for 2 to 3 minutes.

Cat Cow

Get on all fours, knees and hands on the ground. Release your back and core, pulling your hips up to the sky so that there is a "dip" in your back. Hold for 5 seconds, and pull your belly button up toward your back and curl your spine, pulling it toward the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat these 2-step series for 20 to 30 seconds.

Sitting Back Twist

Sit up straight, rest your right leg straight out in front of you and cross your left leg over the top-leg bent and foot in close to your body. Twist your body, bending your right arm and placing your elbow on the outside of your left knee, applying gentle pressure to that leg. Take a breath in, and when you breathe out, twist a little more. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Use these stretches to release work- and exercise-related tension in your back. You'll feel a little more relaxed and your back will feel great.

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