The Best Upper Back Stretches For That Perfect, Between-the-Shoulders Release

POPSUGAR Photography / Christa Janine

Just about everyone could benefit from adding more upper back stretches to their routine. While upper back pain isn’t as common as lower back pain, factors like stress, poor posture, and muscle strain – caused by things like spending hours in front of a computer, frequently carrying a heavy bag, or even diving head-first into an upper-body workout without properly warming up first – can make the muscles in the upper back feel tight and achy – and in desperate need for a good stretch.

But knowing how to stretch your upper back isn’t always so easy. The muscles in your upper back, which include the trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids, teres, and Levator scapulae, are less mobile than your lower back, and therefore a little trickier to target with stretches. But as a fitness trainer and 500hr E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher), I’ve developed a repertoire of the best upper back stretches, for when you’re looking for pain relief fast.

The following eight stretches – several of which are inspired by yoga poses – are geared at finding opening and release in your upper back.

Take your time getting into and out of each stretching exercise and listen to your body as you move through the postures. If implemented into your regular routine, not only will you begin to experience less stress in your upper back, but you’ll also find more mobility and flexibility in this area of your body as well.

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