Do You Stop to Stretch Your Back?

Rather than stopping to smell the roses at the beginning of this new year (even though Chattanooga is a great place for that!), why not stop to stretch your back? More specifically, do a full back stretch?

The full back stretch is often part of a yoga set or chiropractic pain relief routine. Since you're probably trying to achieve a "new year, new you" right now, throw in the full back stretch to maintain a healthy spine.

What is it again?

There are many stretches and poses you can strike that stretch the back. But when it comes to maintaining your core, your flexibility, and preventing back pain, well, the full back stretch covers it all. If you live in the Chattanooga area, you probably know that many yoga studios are waiting for you to come in. Well, take advantage of them and go on in to learn the full back stretch. Ask your Chattanooga chiropractor about it as well (or any chiropractor, really). He may be able show you how to do a version that utilizes standard gym equipment. No matter where you perform the full back stretch (at home, at the gym, at the yoga studio), just make sure you do it on a regular basis to reap the benefits.

How do I do it?

There are many variations on this stretch. We've found three for you to try at home: a yoga pose, a flexibility training stance, and an office version.

For the yoga pose, lay face down on a yoga mat. Lay out your arms in front of you, resting them at a 90 degree angle at the elbows. Push up on your lower arms to thrust your upper body upward. Allow your tummy to sink into the mat as you look at the ceiling. Hold for 15 seconds once you feel a gentle pull in your back.

For the flexibility stance, you're going to do the opposite of the yoga pose. Lay on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Place your fingers under your knees and pull your legs in tighter for a more complete stretch. Roll back until right before your head touches the ground. Repeat this roll 10-15 times. We suggest you also use a yoga mat for this one to provide cushion for your spine during the roll.

And for the office version, we're giving you an easy stretch: simply lean forward from your office chair! Lean forward as far as you can, hugging your knees or touching your toes. Keep your head down and neck relaxed. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Walk back up your legs with your hands until you return to a natural seated position, and repeat three times.

What are the benefits?

Finally, we talk about why it's good to do this thing! Since this stretch is, well, a stretch, it's not primarily about muscle building or toning. But that's ok—it still functions to support the spine. According to Active.com, this stretch and others like it serve to build strength in the lower back muscles. The reason we endorse this stretch is because it triggers the muscular "girdle" surrounding your spine, supporting it so it can remain in its natural position. The full back stretch forces muscles and connective tissue to engage and hold the spine in place. Don't want back pain to ruin your year? Do a full back stretch!

Do you do a daily full back stretch?

The full back stretch is where it's at for keeping the spine in place. Whether you perform it in a Chattanooga yoga studio, at a Chattanooga gym, or even in a Chattanooga office, the full back stretch will help you keep that back from going out.

Do you have a daily stretch routine to get your muscles ready for the day? Is the full back stretch part of it? Keep us informed about your journey to achieving a regular full back stretch in the comment box below. We'll respond soon!

Categories: Spine Health

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