Working Your Upper Back for Stress Relief

A lot of people complain of back pain in their lower backs. But what about upper back stretches? The key muscle in your upper back to stretch and work out would be your trapezius muscles. Here, we’ve got four key tips for trapezius stretches and preparing your upper back to go from stress and pain to strength and gain.

Model # 10; Head, Neck, & Torso; "Pat"

1. Chin-to-clavicle

Sitting with correct posture, relax your shoulders and your head straight, then tuck your chin in toward your right collar bone as far as possible maintaining a straight neck and with no slouch. Gradually turn your neck toward the left shoulder and hold for a few seconds. Relax yourself and then repeat with the opposite side.

2.  Cheek to Shoulder

As seen in this video, you need to place your right hand on top of your head and gently lower your right cheek toward your shoulder.  Use your hand to hold your head down to feel a stretch in your neck.  Hold for a few seconds, repeat and then do the same for the left arm and shoulder.

3. Mid-back Stretch

This one is straight-forward and there’s little risk of strain from doing it wrong.  Grab a door frame and rotate yourself so as your arm is extended straight across your body while holding the frame.  Either your right arm will be extending left or your left arm will be extending to the right.  This can also be done without a door frame by extending your arm and holding it there with the opposite arm. You can hold this position for longer than other stretches, maybe anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and a half. But after you’re done, you’ll need to slowly release the arm out of the stretch so as not to pull any muscles in your traps or mid-back.

4. Straight posture during exercise

There are a lot of ways to make your traps huge in the gym. The stretches are important before you go on such a muscular journey. The key to getting that part of your body in amazing shape starts with the correct standing posture. For example, if you use dumbbells, you might be familiar with the simple exercise of shrugging your shoulders with weights in hand.

The mistake many people make is to lift in a normal shrug, as if telling someone you don’t know the answer to their question.

The correct way is to pull the weights up and move your shoulders back as you are doing it.

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