Mid back stretches. How to do mid back stretches and what are mid back – EasyFlexibility
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Mid back stretches. How to do mid back stretches and what are mid back stretches?

Posted by Paul Zaichik on

two pictures of young women doing back bending and forward bending on the floor on a studio
If you want to get the most benefit out of stretching your middle back, you have to know what your goal is of working on your middle back. Do you have middle back pain that you want to alleviate? Do you have a bad posture that you want to improve by working on your middle back? Is your spine curved too much? Your shoulders tilted forward too much? Or perhaps you just want to work on your flexibility and thus you want to develop a flexible middle back.

Whether you want to be able to flex forward like when you're doing a crunch. Or you want to have good back extension like when you're doing a cobra. Once you have selected the goal of your mid back stretches, its time to decide what to do about achieving your goal.

Mid Back Stretches for Pain Relief

First, let's talk about painful middle back. If you have mid back pain you may need to stretch muscles in front of your body and not in the back of your body. That's right, the cause of pain is usually not in the location of the pain. For example, if you have very tight Pectoralis minor it may be causing overstretching in the muscles of your back. And thus, stretching the muscles of your back may not elevate your pain. You may need to stretch your pectoralis minor.

In some cases, you may need to stretch your Pectoralis major perhaps even your Trapezius. All, while strengthening muscles in your back, not stretching them. Your spinal extensors, your rhomboids. Additionally, you may have to stretch your Rectus abdominis if it is a lot stronger than your spinal extensors and thus pulling your body forward.

Additionally, you can massage the muscles in the back of your body, but just like stretching them, it may give you a very short, temporary relief. Because, your problem may not be in the back. It might be in front or on the top.

The cause of pain is often not in the area of the pain. We wrote a whole article on this topic which you can read by clicking here.

Although Pectoralis minor is located in front of your body, it is one of the very common reasons for back pain. To help you release Pectoralis Minor we have a special Zaichik Stretching Technique called ~Tranquility~ ZST which you can try right now!

Pectoralis Minor ~Tranquility~ Zaichik Stretching Technique

To Perfom the ~Tranquility~ ZST:

Starting Position:

• Lay down on the back.
• Place one hand behind the head.
• Take one yoga block and place it on the inside of the upper arm.
• Turn your body away until the elbow comes off the floor.

Leverage 1

Elevate the shoulder to the ear.

Target 1:

As you depress the shoulder, press down.

Leverage 2

Again, elevate the shoulder to the ear.

Target 2

As you depress the shoulder, press down more.

Leverage 3

One more time, elevate the shoulder to the ear.

Target 3

And as you depress the shoulder, press down more.

Pain Management Combo

These are the most important programs you can work on if your stretches hurt, or if your body hurts in general when you are doing the exercises or your daily chores and your doctor said "there is nothing wrong". This is important, consult with your doctor before engaging in any of these or other programs.

Mid Back Stretches for Overhead Shoulder Flexibility

Next, let’s talk about mid back flexibility. If you are looking to work on your mid back flexibility, it depends. Are you looking for deeper forward flexion of your spine, or a deeper extension of your spine? Or perhaps what you are after is overhead flexibility. If you have tight rheumatoid among other muscles, you may not be able to get your arms completely vertical. If your rhomboids are tight, they may be preventing you from overhead flexibility while causing you feel tension in your middle back. If you interested in Overhead Shoulder Flexibility we have a specialized program just for this.

This Overhead Shoulder Flexibility program is unlike anything you have ever seen or tried before. Here's why...

Shoulder extension, which is, bringing your arm straight down from overhead position, is one of the most powerful upper body moves that can be made with your arm. This is great! But also very problematic. The reason its problematic, when it comes to stretching, is that many large muscles participate in this simple move. This means that if you want to bring your arm up and over your head, you have to have flexibility in all of those muscles.

Mid Back Stretches for Forward Bend Flexibility

You may be looking to stretch your middle back because you are looking for deeper forward bend flexibility as is required in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to improve the bottom position for example. Here you would need more flexibility in the extensors of your spine and more strength in the flexors of your spine.

A resisted crunch is a good exercise for this. It uses reciprocal inhibition to strengthen your abdomen, abdominal muscles, in front of your core and to develop flexibility in the back of the core. To do this, you simply crunch up first with your hands against your knees. Keep the pressure for a few seconds and then pull your body up a little bit higher using your hands.

Mid Back Stretches for Back Extension Flexibility

If you are a yoga practitioner, Ballet Dancer, Figure Skater or any other type of athlete or performer who is looking for back extension flexibility. Then the goal would be flexibility in the torso, and strength in the extension of your spine. Which is opposite to the Jiu Jitsu example described above.

In the EasyFlexibility system, we have a whole back extension program focusing on various parts of the spine. A general technique would be to do a reciprocal inhibition Cobra. Where you are face down and under the shoulders you come up as high as possible. Hold, contract muscles on the back of your body, place your hand on the floor and push up a little bit higher. While the muscles that extend your spine inhibit the muscles that flex your spine. And this way, your back stretches into extension. Below is a video demonstrating Reciprocal Inhibition Cobra Technique from the EasyFlexibility Back Extension system.

Mid Back Stretches for Posture Improvement.

Are you looking to improve your posture and that is why you are searching for mid back stretching? In most cases, the assumption would be that your spine is bent forward and you want to extend it. And very often when the spine is bent forward, the shoulders also hunch forward. The two are related neurologically.

When the spine bends forward the front of the body is stronger and the back is weaker. Your shoulders also travel forward with the front of your shoulder stronger, and back of your shoulders weaker. This can be the shoulder joint muscles or the shoulder girdle muscles.

Strengthening the muscles in the back for the shoulder and for the spine is required while stretching the muscles in front. Even if it may seem that muscles in a back should be stretched, especially if these are the muscles that are causing the discomfort as explained above.

Additionally, if posture is your major training goal working on the middle back alone is usually not enough ex. (this study). Your neck must be taken into consideration and so your pelvis. If you are interested in perfecting your posture we have a program that helps you get a perfect posture!

Perfect Posture Strength & Flexibility Training at Home

Having a perfect posture in ballet is one of those things that everyone talks about, yet very few know how to get. Often general terms like "Do more Yoga", or "Take Pilates Class" come to mind. The problem? Too many exercises and non are specific enough to improve the way a person bears his or her body.
The combination of proprietary Zaichik Stretching and strengthening exercises reverses the effect of gravity and years of self neglect. Each section of the body concentrated on and taken care off piece by piece. It takes at most few weeks before a person begins to look better and most importantly to feel better.

This program will help you get a Perfect Posture!
Click Here to Learn More About The Perfect Posture Program!

Final recommendations about mid back stretches

If you are working on extension of your spine, be aware that Rectus abdominis will flex both your lumbar and thoracic spine, and thus stretching the Rectus abdominis will not automatically get you extension of your spine in the middle back or in your thoracic region. You may simply get deeper and deeper lumbar spinal extension. To be able to stretch your middle back without further stretching your lower back strength and awareness is needed.

And in most people who don't have very specific training, the muscles of the middle back are usually in atrophy. The Rhomboids may be developed, the Lats may be developed, Trapezius may be developed, but the spinal extensors are often very poorly developed in the middle back, and yet overdeveloped in the lower back.

You can test this theory by first sitting with your back curled forward and then try to extend it. You'll notice that your shoulders get pulled back by the shoulder muscles. Your spine will hyperextend and it will look like your body is more vertical. But the movement and especially the force produced by the spinal extensors is usually not that great, unless it's something that you have specifically worked and focused on.

It is very important to understand that the spinal column is not just two muscles running from top to bottom on each side of the spine. There are many muscles there in multiple layers. Some can be very developed and others can be very underdeveloped.

If you are interested in improving your mid back strength and flexibility please take a look at the following programs:
Perfect Posture Program
Having a perfect posture is one of those things that everyone talks about, yet very few know how to get.

In this training program you will learn how to improve your Posture and keep it Perfect for years to come!
Back Bending Combo
This package contains the following programs:
  • Back Bending Beginner
  • Back Bending Intermediate
  • Double Hamstrings
Self Massage & Release  for Upper Body program
Our program gives a complete follow along routine to release every muscle in the upper body.

This ensures full stretching capacity and decrease chance of injury due to overcompensation of one muscle group for another.
Back Bending Beginner program
The Full Bridge is a strength-flexibility powerhouse. It requires flexibility in:
  • the shoulder joint,
  • shoulder girdle,
  • extension of the back,
  • as well as extension of the hips.
Complete Shoulder Flexion Program
Shoulder extension, which is, bringing your arm straight down from overhead position, is one of the most powerful upper body moves that can be made with your arm. This is great! But also very problematic.

This program will help you to get full range of motion in your shoulder steadily, safely, painlessly and quickly with the use of the Proprietary Zaichik Stretching Techniques and Supporting Exercises.
Pain Management Combo
These are the most important programs you can work on if your stretches hurt, or if your body hurts in general when you are doing the exercises or your daily chores and your doctor said "there is nothing wrong". 

This is important, consult with your doctor before engaging in any of these or other programs.

Get all these 10 Pain Management programs!
Grappling & BJJ Combo
BJJ Flexibility is essential for continually improving your skills. A healthy, flexible shoulder to a grappler is like a rifle to an infantryman. You simply need it to be in perfect condition. Grappling is extremely unpredictable.

You never know in which position your shoulder will be the next moment in a game. Being able to feel comfortable in every possible range, is what gives a BJJ player a huge advantage.

About the Author:

Paul Zaichik is an Exercise Science Expert, author of multitude of books, and the creator of Zaichik Stretching Technique (formely known as Kinesiological Stretching Technique). His speciality is flexibility training as well as body weight conditioning. His innovative method is designed to have maximum carry over into specific athletic techniques. Paul is the author of books and DVD’s on the topic of flexibility, martial arts and bodyweight training. Over the years, Paul Zaichik has worked with a variety of individuals including athletes, entertainers, and military personnel. His ElasticSteel Method of Athletic Conditioning programs, EasyFlexibility Programs and Zaichik Stretching Techniques are used world wide by both professional and amateurs with great success.
© ElasticSteel Corp., EasyFlexibility, Paul Zaichik, et. El., 2022. No part of the materials available through ElasticSteel.com, EasyFlexiiblity.com, site may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Paul Zaichik EasyFlexibility.com, Elasticsteel.com.. Any other reproduction in any form without the permission of Paul Zaichik EasyFlexibility.com, Elasticsteel.com is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Paul Zaichik, EasyFlexibility.com, Elasticsteel.com.

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  • The exercise by anatomical drawing is very clear in the video

    I wish all the exercises in the programs would be explained in this way.
    أميرة on

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