Stretches and Back Care Exercises
Before you begin any
stretching, it's important to do a warm-up routine. Five to ten minutes of
moderate physical activity will prepare your body for work and help reduce
the likelihood of muscle strain. Ideally, all exercise sessions should be
followed by a few minutes of stretching.
Chest and shoulder
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Clasp
hands behind your back. Straighten and raise your arms, making sure
your chest doesn’t collapse. Lift your chest to your chin. Hold for
15 seconds, then relax. Repeat three times. You should feel a
stretch in the chest and front shoulders.
standing or sitting, grasp your hands together above your head, with
your palms up and shoulders relaxed. Stretch arms up. Don’t hold
your breath or arch your back. Hold for 15 seconds. This is a good
stretch to do anytime, anywhere.
one foot in front of the other. Bend the front leg while keeping the
back leg straight - push your back heel to the floor. Bend your
forward knee until a comfortable stretch is felt in your back calf.
You can hold on to a wall or chair for balance. Hold for 15 seconds.
Repeat three times on each leg.
Upper back stretch
with one leg straight out in front, and the other leg bent with the
foot against the inner thigh. Leaning forward from the hips, reach
hands down the leg as far as comfortable, keeping the back as
straight as possible. Do not round the back while leaning forward.
Reach toward the toes. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Repeat two
to three times.
Standing lower back
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, feet
firmly planted on the ground, with your hands supporting your lower
back and keeping you chin to your chest. Gently arch your back. Hold
for 15 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your lower back and
possibly front hips.
Balance or use a stable object for support.
Stand straight and grasp your right foot with your left hand behind
you. Gently pull your foot towards your buttocks until you feel a
gentle stretch down the front of your leg. Hold for 15 seconds, then
relax. Repeat three times on each leg. If you can’t reach your foot
you can hold on to your pants or socks.
Lie on the
floor or bed. Pull your knees to your chest. Push lower back towards
the ground and hold for 15 seconds. Relax and repeat three
Lower back rotation
Sit as shown in diagram – left leg straight,
right leg crossing over left leg with right foot on the floor. Place
your left elbow on the outside of bent right leg and right hand
behind you. Turn your head to look over right shoulder. Hold for 15
seconds. Reverse position and look the other way. Repeat twice on
Back and shoulder
Hold your right wrist with your left hand behind
your back. Lean your left ear to your left shoulder. Left hand pulls
right arm down and across behind your back. You should feel a
stretch in your right-side neck and shoulder. Hold stretch for 15
seconds, then relax. Repeat three times on each
Quadricep and groin
Kneel on the floor, step forward until the front
knee is over your ankle and the other knee is resting on the floor.
Lower front hip downwards without moving knee position. You should
feel an easy stretch in the front hip and thigh of the back leg.
Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat three times for each leg. Hold on to a
chair for balance.
you have an injury or are unsure, please check these stretches with your
doctor or specialist. Do not stretch to the point of pain. Stretches
should be gentle and slow, never bouncy.