The Back Arch:
One Of The Key Stretching
Exercises For Back Pain

There are many Chinese stretching exercises for back pain. This is not surprising given that back pain and stiffness are such common ailments. The Back Arch is a simple yet effective stretching exercise for the back that, like most of the exercises on this site, provides multiple benefits if you do it regularly - even when you don't have back pain.

If you have back or neck problems though or you haven't exercised for some time check with your health professional before trying this or any other new back exercises. Also included below are links to other stretching exercises for back pain, as well as neck and leg pain, on this site. It is recommended that you try them all to see which ones work best for your particular situation.

Back Arch Stretching Exercise


1. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your toes pointing outwards. Rest your hands on your thighs just above your knees, with your fingers and thumbs facing inwards.

Take a slow, deep breath through your nose. Exhale through your mouth as you slowly and gently bend your head down towards your chest and push your hips and pelvis forward.

Feel your entire spine stretching from your neck to your lower back and sacrum. Stretch as far as you comfortably can and until you have fully exhaled. This should take about 4 or 5 seconds. Pause for a second or two.

2. Breathe in through your nose as you slowly and smoothly raise your head up.

Continue until you are looking above and behind your body.

At the same time tilt your hips and pelvis back so that your backside is sticking up in the air.

Arch your spine as far as you comfortably can.

Hold the position for a couple of seconds.

3. Exhale through your mouth as you slowly and gently lower your head and your backside into the back stretching position in step 1, i.e. with your head resting near your chest and your hips and pelvis pushed forward.

Continue to alternately stretch and arch your back 5 to 10 times to begin.

Build up to 15 to 20 times in a session or simply do it for a few minutes at a time.


  • Limbers & stretches your back & neck muscles
  • Stimulates your spinal nerves
  • Aligns your vertebrae
  • Promotes blood flow
  • Relieves back & neck pain & stiffness


  • Proceed slowly, smoothly & gently throughout the exercise
  • When arching back imagine your head and backside are touching
  • Stop if you feel any pain or dizziness
  • Breathe slowly & smoothly throughout the exercise

For more stretching exercises for back pain try these:

Forward-Backward Bend
Back Twist
Upper Back Loosener
Neck Twist
Leg Stretch
Lumbar Rub

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