Exercises for Mid Back Tightness
Mid Back Strengthening Exercises
These two exercises are a favourite of mine for helping to release pain and tension in the mid back. The trunk rotation exercise is a simple and gentle movement that can be done anytime, anywhere. For the second exercise, tennis balls make a great prop for providing a bit of counter pressure to pain points. They can be used to relieve stiffness and tension all over the upper, lower and mid-back, depending on the movements you choose.
Also Known As
Mid Back Exercises and Stretches
Mid-back, upper back, lower back, shoulder blades, depending on movement chosen.
Step by Step Instructions
Trunk Rotation Exercise to Mobilize Mid Back
- On all fours, maintain a neutral spine and pelvis.
- Move right hand behind right ear.
- In a controlled motion, slowly move right elbow to the inside of the left elbow. Your neck should move in a smooth, controlled motion as well.
- Open up as far as you can go, bringing right elbow back up to point towards the ceiling.
- Repeat, bringing right elbow back to the inside of the left elbow.
- Start with 5 on each side, working your way up to 15 reps for each side.
Tennis Ball Exercise for Achy Upper Back and Shoulder Blades
- Lay on your back
- Raise up slightly from the mat and place tennis ball close to the area where you’re experiencing tension
- Slowly lower/roll down so the tender area is on top of the tennis ball
- Aim for a 6/10 on the pain scale
- Hold until the 6/10 pain turns into more like a 2/10
- Raise up slightly and roll the ball out from under you
Dual Tennis Ball Exercise for Painful Upper Back and Shoulder Blades
- Lay two tennis balls close to the area where you’re experiencing tension
- Laying back on your elbows, make sure each tennis ball lays on either side of your spine.
- With feet flat on the floor, adjust the tennis balls until they’re between each of your shoulder blades.
- Keeping a neutral neck, wiggle your body around slightly and lay back on the tennis balls. You should feel your chest opening as well, as your upper back relaxes into the stretch.
- Hold until the tension releases.
- Roll onto your side and sit up.
- Never put a tennis ball right on the vertebrae of your spine. This can put too much pressure on the bone and cause injury
- If your core is strong enough, lift your bum to move your body over the tennis ball(s) using a gently rolling motion.
There you have it! Two gentle stretches to help soothe mid-back tightness!