Upper Back Exercises That
Are Quick, Effective and Easy

Upper back exercises like the Upper Back Loosener take just seconds to do and are multi-beneficial.

The upper back and neck are chronically tight and painful areas for many people.

Causes of upper back pain and tension include injury or trauma, spinal problems, poor posture and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, stagnation of blood and vital energy (Qi) due to emotional stress.

How can the Upper Back Loosener help? It loosens the upper vertebrae and related muscles and also the shoulders. This helps relieve upper back pain symptoms such as tight, sore muscles and upper back stiffness. It also opens up the chest and rib-cage, which helps with any breathing exercises you do. Breathing exercises can help release tension and pain in the whole body and offer many other benefits.

If you have a history of upper back, neck or chest problems or you haven't exercised for some time, check with your health professional before trying the Upper Back Loosener or other neck or upper back exercises.

Upper Back Loosener


1. Stand with your feet parallel and about shoulder width apart.

Hold your hands behind your back with your fingers interlocked.

2. Breathe in slowly and smoothly through your nose as you move your elbows back and try to touch them together. You won't be able to but this is the direction you need to move them.

At the same time, gently bend your head forward a little. This helps to lengthen and stretch your upper spine and neck.

Feel your chest and shoulders opening.

Hold the position for several seconds. While this "holding" stage actually tenses the upper back area it's the next part where you'll feel the loosening.

3. Breathe out slowly and smoothly through your mouth while gently dropping your arms to your sides, returning your head to normal position and relaxing your whole upper body. Imagine and feel the tension leaving your body as you exhale and drop your arms.

Take a couple of slow deep breaths then repeat the exercise three or four times. Do it several times a day, whenever you have upper back pain, stiffness or tension. Do it regularly to prevent the build up of stress and tension in your upper back area.


  • Loosens upper back vertebrae and related muscles
  • Loosens the shoulders
  • Releases upper back tension
  • Opens the chest and ribcage


  • Do it slowly and gently
  • Stop if you feel any pain

More Upper Back Exercises

Here's another loosening exercise you can do together with the first exercise.

1. Stand straight with your feet parallel and about waist-width apart. Put the backs of your hands on your lower back, and interlock your fingers. Your elbows should now be pointing out to the sides.

2. Start "flapping" your elbows backwards and forwards in a smooth, rhythmic action just like wings. Breathe smoothly and evenly through your nose. Continue for 1-2 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times a day. This exercise loosens your upper back, chest, shoulders and the base of your neck.

3. Also try Shoulder Rolling. Stand with your arms hanging by your sides. Using your shoulder muscles only, lift and roll your shoulders in forward circles, then backward circles 10-15 times each way for another effective shoulder and upper back loosener.

For even greater effectiveness combine the above exercises with these other neck, back and upper back exercises:

Back Arch
Back Twist
Forward-Backward Bend
Neck Twist + Acupressure

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