Neck and Back Stretches for Beginners

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If you’re looking for a good stretching routine that targets your back and neck, there are lots of them available, most of them easy and effective. These basic techniques are perfect for those who are new to stretching.

Beginner Back Stretch

One of the most useful stretches you can do for your spine is the basic back stretch. Here’s what you do: Standing upright, contract your abs as you bend forward at the hips, lowering your hands to the floor. Relax the head downwards and push using the fingertips; feel the stretch in the back as you do this. Hold this pose for 30 seconds; if you find this too difficult, build up slowly to this length of time.

Wide Back and Shoulder Stretch

This stretch should directly follow the basic back stretch. With your hands remaining on the floor, set your feet wide apart and position your arms inside your legs. Take your hands off the floor and grasp your ankles by wrapping your arms around the back of your calves. Pull gently with the hands, thereby opening up the shoulders and stretching the upper back. Maintain this pose for about 30 seconds.

The Shoulder Roll

Shoulder rolls are the easiest stretches around. Either sitting or standing upright, rotate your shoulders upwards, backwards, down then forward. Start with small circles and work up to a larger movement. Perform 10 circles going backwards, and then switch directions and do 10 reps forward.

Don’t forget that a stitch in time saves nine; take care that you avoid movements and actions that will cause back and neck pain. Good posture is critical. Take care when lifting heavy objects. You need to bend down, then use your legs instead of your back to carry the load when you lift.

Your sleeping habits also play a part in preventing lower back pain and neck discomfort. A properly supportive pillow and mattress are important, and keep the temperature set right so that you don’t have a restless sleep. Doing some light stretches right before bed will relax your muscles and get you ready for a restful night.

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