back extension exercise

Want to Age Well? Do This Simple Stretch Regularly To Improve Spinal Mobility and Prevent Back Pain

Taking care of your body is really important as you age, especially the lower back. Here is a simple stretch you can do every day to improve spinal mobility and prevent lower back pain.

Our bodies tend to develop tightness and stiffness everywhere as we sit for hours at a desk and face screens all day. 

A sedentary lifestyle is not only a root cause of the text neck, rounded shoulders, and poor posture, but it can also lead to nagging back pain. 

While your work life may not be something you can change easily, it also doesn’t have to lead to aches, limited mobility, and spinal misalignments. 

The fact of the matter is, reversing the body’s tightness only takes a simple stretch habit that takes very little time. 

If you are a beginner and haven’t done much stretching in the past, start with this simple back extension stretch. 

back extension workout

Stretch Benefits

This floor stretch lengthens your neck, back, and spine stabilizing muscles that tend to get compressed in an upright stance. 

It also opens up your shoulders and chest to combat the rounded shoulder posture that’s common in people who type for hours. 

Combats Text Neck Syndrom

Your neck also gets full extension and stretch, and this is vital, especially for those with text neck syndromes. 

Believe it or not, your neck is tasked to carry and hold up your entire head, which on average weighs 10-11 lbs in an upright posture (1). But when you look down to use your phone, it changes the angle of your head, resulting in up to 60 lbs of force placed on the neck (2). 

This can lead to the development of what’s called the text neck. It’s a syndrome where your head is bent forward. It can produce rounded shoulders, headaches, and pain in the neck flexion, upper back, and shoulders (3). 

Restores Flexibility

The floor back extension stretch also improves your flexibility and mobility around your hips, glutes, and thighs. 

Your spine and upper body are supported by the muscles in your hips, core, glutes, and thighs. Together, they support stabilizing the body’s entire posture and bring a range of motion and flexibility. 

Improves Mobility 

No matter what movements your body performs, they either originate from or pass through your core and hips. Without having to have the proper strength in your core and hips, you are more prone to constant backaches and injuries. 

Reversing the daily damage of sitting and desk life starts with just a simple, beginner stretch that lengthens the target muscles. 

The Back Stretch for Beginners

The back extension stretching exercise is a great one to start for anyone looking for a ‘ahhh’ moment and relief for your back. 

You can perform this with your arms supporting the upper body or without the support, depending on your level of comfort. The version without is more challenging than the one with arm support. 

Perform either version of the stretch after work 3 times a week to start feeling the difference in your body and experience the tension release. 

How to Perform Back Extension With Arm Support. 

back extension with arm support. 
  • Lying on your stomach, place your arms directly below your shoulders with your elbows bent. 
  • Engage the core muscles and glutes to safeguard your spine during the stretch. 
  • With control, slowly raise your upper body off the floor, pressing up through the palms. Keep your pelvis and hip bones flat on the floor. Go up only as far as you can comfortably do. 
  • If you experience any tension in the lower back, go back to the original position and relax. 
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 8-10 times.

Back Extension Without Arm Support

Back Extension Without Arm Support
  • Laying on your stomach on a yoga mat, keep your hands behind your ears or extend them back fully. 
  • Raise your upper body using your core strength as far as you can go up without discomfort. Your arms should be slightly off the ground. 
  • This will activate the extensor muscles of the spine and strengthens the core muscles even more.
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 8-10 times.

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