Double tap, like. Scroll. Double tap, like. Scroll. You have been sitting like this for what seems like only five minutes. Hunched over with your phone in hand, you scroll through your favorite social site reading about your friend from high school who has just completed her fifth marathon. You just heard your name called, so you quickly sit up to respond and then ‘ouch!’ Maybe it wasn’t just five minutes. You look at the time and see that you have been sitting there like the hunchback of Notre Dame for nearly a full hour. You stand up and throw your arms back trying to release the tension. Yep, we all know this routine. It’s your everyday upper back pain that seems to never go away.
But what if it could go away?
Here are five simple stretches that you can do right after your intense workout at the gym, your long day in the office, or strenuous social media binge right in your very own living room.
1. Rotating Chair
While sitting on the edge of your chair, place both hands to the back of the head and straighten your posture with shoulders directly over your hips. Keep feet planted as you twist your torso to your left. Hold for at least five seconds. Your body from the waist up should be facing your left as your body from the waist down stays firmly planted in the seated position. Twist back to facing forward and then repeat process to the right.
2. Chair Arm Raise
Sit on the edge of your chair with shoulders directly over your hips and arms hanging loosely to your side. While feet are firmly planted to the floor, raise your arms slowly above your head keeping elbows locked and shoulders relaxed. Hold arms above your head for 10 seconds taking deep breaths. Slowly release your arms back to your side and repeat five times or until you feel less pain in your upper back
3. Clasped Hands
While either sitting or standing with shoulders directly over your hips, raise your arms with elbows locked above your head. Clasp your hands. Bend your elbows while lowering your clasped hands behind your head letting them to drop loosely. This should open your chest while tightening your shoulder blades together. Hold bent, clasped hands for 10 seconds. Raise arms above your head and drop back down to your side. Repeat five times.
4. Wheely Good Support
Sit on the floor in a relaxed position with either your legs crossed or knees bent and feet firmly on the ground. Place the Plexus Wheel against your back. While holding onto the wheel, slowly lower your upper back on top of the wheel and allow your head to rest on it’s mat. Once securely on the wheel, release your hold and lay hands loosely on the ground. Stay in this position for at least 30 seconds while breathing deeply. You can stay longer, or repeat a few times to release your upper back pain.
5. Roll it Out
Sit on the floor with legs bent and feet firmly on the floor. Place the Plexus Wheel about 6 inches from behind your back vertically. Lay your upper back onto the wheel with it in between your shoulder blades while raising your booty off the floor and keeping your knees in a 90 degree angle. Roll back and forth with the wheel on your upper back by bending and straightening your legs. It will be a forward-backward motion. For a deeper stretch lower the back of your head to the mat. Roll out 10 times.