6 exercises for a flexible back

Back bend: A simple back bend is a type of extension stretch that will work on the extensor muscles and reduces stiffness. Those who have a desk-job should do this exercise at least 2-3 times, between their breaks.

Steps to perform:

Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart
Place your palms on your waist
Slowly bend backward. Go as low as you can without bending the knees.
Slowly come back to the original position

Ardha-chandrasanaSide bend: Your lower back and extensor muscles are not the only muscles you need to focus on. If you want to develop a good all-round spine flexibility, side bend exercise is important. It causes flexion of your oblique muscles, allowing easier spiral movements of your upper body.

Steps to perform:

Stand up straight with feet shoulder width apart or closed as shown in the image
Bend over slowly to your right with your left arm stretching over your head and go as low as you can. Remember to reach the hand over your head. If it falls forward then you’re not doing it right
Come back slowly to the original position
Repeat to your left

cat-pose-redone-300x217Cat-Camel stretch: It is a simple contract-release exercise that can activate all the muscles around the spine and improve your flexibility. It improves your mid and low back muscles more than your sides.

Steps to perform:

Achieve the ‘dog’ position, keeping your knees and palms on the floor with your elbows straight.
Now, without bending your elbows, contract your spine such that your back makes the C shape. Look at your navel.
Hold this position for about 15-20 seconds
Come back to the original position
Now, arch your back to release your spine while you look to the ceiling.
Hold this position for about 15-20 seconds
Come back to the original position
Repeat

BhujangasanaCobra pose: This pose is known as Bhujangasana in yoga. It is extremely useful for strengthening back muscles improving flexibility in all muscles supporting the spine.

Steps to perform:

Lie flat on your stomach keeping arms by your sides
Bend your elbows bent and slowly straighten your arms, without lifting your pelvis.
Tilt your head back and relax your shoulders. Do not lift your pelvis off the floor.

Back extension: A bit advanced exercise for the back would be back extension. You should be able to do this easily if you can achieve the cobra pose. It lengthens your spine and improves entire back musculature.

Steps to perform:

Lie flat on your stomach, keeping your arms on your sides.
Now keeping your palms behind your head, with elbows bent, try to take your head and chest off the ground. Try not to lift your feet off the floor while doing this.
Hold for 5-10 seconds.
Slowly lower your head and shoulders back to the ground..

Flat back: A flat back is the most difficult pose to achieve. It may take years for even experts to get it right. But it helps maintaining the integrity of the spine structure and alignment. it also helps improvement of posture in those who have the habit to slouch.

Steps to perform

Stand up straight with feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms relaxed by your sides. Your feet should be grounded strongly, without bending the knees.
Slowly take your arms above your head and straighten them. Simultaneously, lift your heel off the floor.
Maintaining the same straight alignment of your spine, slowly bend forward as you keep your heel back on the floor.
Keep bending as long as you can keep your back flat and spine in a straight line
Hold for 10-15 seconds.
Relax. Repeat