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Relax your back: 3 moves to ease pain and improve posture

Here are three exercises to help improve posture, increase blood circulation and ease tension

Vahdaneh Vahid

Published: Updated:

In today’s work environment, we either spend long hours slumped over a desk or walk around in high-heel shoes, which can cause postural issues and tension. Here are three exercises to help improve posture, increase blood circulation and ease tension.

Downward dog - wall version

As hamstring muscles connect to the back, stretching them in this position will have a huge influence in reducing lower back pain.

- Stand facing a wall with your feet pointing straight and hip-distance apart.
- Place your hands on the wall and keep your knees slightly bent.
- Slowly walk your hands down the wall until you create a 90-degree position with your body.

downward dog
downward dog

- Keep your shoulder blades drawn in together, and your back as straight as possible (you should feel a deep stretch in the hamstrings).
- Push your tailbone away if you need to increase the stretch.
- Hold for 30 - 60 seconds and do two to three sets.

Self-myofascial release for the lats

Vahdaneh Vahid
Vahdaneh Vahid

- Lie down on your side and straighten your left arm out in line with your body.
- Place a foam roller underneath the upper portion of the lats (near the armpit).
- Slowly roll up and down the side of your back. As you do so, turn and twist your torso to avoid rolling directly on the ribcage.
- Pause when you feel a tender spot, and breathe into that area until you feel less discomfort, then move on.
- Perform 60-90 seconds of massage on each side, and do two to three sets if needed.

Lumbar spine mobility

Vahdaneh Vahid (Al Arabiya English)
Vahdaneh Vahid (Al Arabiya English)

- Lie on your back with your arms straight in line with your shoulder and your palms facing up.
- Bend your legs and place them on top of a Swiss ball, creating a 90-degree angle from your hips.
- Pull your navel in - this will contract your core muscles to help support the lower back throughout the movement.
- Slowly allow the ball to move side to side.
- Keep your head, neck and shoulders in contact with the floor.
- Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 reps each.