Ease back pain from the comfort of your chair with these easy moves.
Whether you’re stuck at your desk rushing to meet a deadline or on a long drive, we all have those times where sitting for too long starts to make your lower back ache.
As we all know, too much sitting leads to poor posture that quickly tightens up the hip flexors, hamstrings, lower back, neck, and chest. You might feel knots forming in your back with pain and discomfort radiating all the way up to your neck.
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For an easy way to reverse the damage of sitting for too long, use these seven sit-and-stretch exercises and soothe back pain.
We recommend doing these chair stretches 2-3 times per day. You don’t need anything except you and your seat!
7 Easy Chair Stretches to Fix Back Pain
Seated Cat Cow | 8 breaths
This dynamic stretch relieves back pain by warming up the spine and opening up tight muscles in the chest and shoulders.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor and engage your abs.
- Interlace your fingers behind your head, bringing your elbows out wide.
- Inhale to arch your back, lifting your chest up towards the sky. Lean your head back into your palms to feel a stretch through your chest and shoulders.
- Exhale to round your spine. Bring your chin to your chest and your elbows together. You should feel a stretch along the spine.
- Continue alternating for 8 rounds of breath.
Seated Spinal Twist | 8 breaths per side
Awaken the core with this gentle twist that brings mobility back to the spine.
- Sit up tall in your chair. Inhale to lengthen your spine.
- Exhale to twist your torso to the right. Place your right hand behind you on the seat of the chair and place your left palm on the outside of your right thigh.
- Hold for 8 breaths, deepening your twist a little on each exhale. Switch sides.
Side Stretch | 8 breaths per side
When we sit for a long time, the muscles between the ribs get tight, making it harder to take deep breaths, causing upper back pain. This stretch reverses that tightness.
- Start sitting tall with your palms on your thighs.
- Inhale to reach your right arm straight up towards the sky.
- Exhale to place your right hand behind your neck. Then, take a side bend to the left.
- Hold here for 8 breaths, then switch sides.
Seated Forward Fold | 30 sec
Calm your body and mind with this relaxing stretch that eases lower back tightness and pain.
- Set your feet hip-width distance apart. Inhale to reach your arms up towards the sky.
- Exhale as you sweep your arms out to the sides and fold forward. Rest your torso on your thighs and bring your hands to the ground.
- Let your head and shoulders hang heavy. Close your eyes and hold for 30 seconds.
Seated Figure 4 | 30 sec per side
This stretch relieves back pain by opening up the hips flexors, which get tight from sitting too long.
- Sit up tall in your seat.
- Cross your right ankle above your left thigh.
- Press your right palm on your inner right thigh for a gentle stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Bound Neck Stretch | 30 sec per side
Release tight neck muscles and open up the chest in this stretch that eases upper back pain.
- Sit up tall with your abs engaged. Interlace your fingers behind your lower back. Then squeeze your shoulder blades together to feel your chest and shoulders stretch.
- Slowly lower your right ear towards your right shoulder. Close your eyes and hold here for 30 seconds.
- Inhale your head back up to center, then switch sides.
Seated Gentle Backbend | 8 breaths
This stretch relieves upper back pain by gently opening up the chest and shoulders.
- Sit up tall with your abs engaged.
- Place your hands down behind you on the chair so that your fingers point away from you. Squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Slowly arch your back and lift your chest up towards the sky as you lean back into your palms. Keep your neck long as you gaze upwards. Hold for eight breaths.
(Your Next Workout: Easy + Gentle Home Barre Workout – You Just Need a Chair!)