These four simple spinal wall stretches are the perfect way to release your tight back after a long day.
When you take just a few minutes to stretch your spine and hips every day, you’ll notice a big difference in your back pain. These feel-good wall stretches will improve your mobility and relax your nervous system, improving sleep quality. (1)
Wall stretches improve balance and alignment, which allows you to relax more deeply into the stretch. By pressing against the wall, you also traction your spine and hips, generating length and releasing muscle tension.
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Each of these four wall stretches reduces pain, stress, or tension in a unique way.
- The Wall Roll Down massages pressure out of the upper and lower traps, mid-back, lower back, and pelvis – all places that hold stress. Bending forward here also opens up the chest and gives your lungs more space to breathe deeply.
- Supported Child’s Pose allows the body to rest and relax, which encourages the brain to do the same! As you elongate your spine, you can visualize your breath traveling from your toes to your head. You can turn this into a meditation by tuning in to your breath. Focus on long inhales and soft exhales.
- Figure Four releases tension in the hips, which is a common place for stress to hide. This laid-back pose is also a lot less intense than the traditional yogic “Pigeon Pose”, so you can relax as your muscles soften.
- Legs Up The Wall is a simple way to reap the restorative benefits of inversion, without doing handstands. Just 15 minutes of this pose can help improve circulation and oxygenate your body.
Skip the yoga class and put away the cumbersome stretching props! All you need to reap the benefits of this relaxing stretch series is a wall and five to 10 minutes. You can repeat this series every evening before bed or whenever you need to mobilize your spine and de-stress your mind.
Wall Roll Down | 5 reps
- Stand with your back against the wall and your feet hip-width apart.
- Drop your chin to your chest, hinge at the hips and slowly roll down until your fingers touch the floor. Bend your knees deeply.
- Hold this position for a moment. Then slowly roll back up to standing, feeling each section of your spine pressing into the wall.
- Repeat 5 times.
Supported Child’s Pose | 10 breaths
- Kneel an arm’s length away from the wall, with your knees wider than your hips.
- Rest your hands on the wall and relax your chest and shoulders. Imagine your whole body melting towards the wall, with only your palms touching it.
- Stay here for 10 breaths. Soften the neck, shoulders, back, and hips on each exhalation.
Figure Four Wall Stretch | 5 breaths per side
- Lie on your back with your feet on the wall at a 90-degree angle. Cross the right ankle over the left thigh. Gently open the right knee towards the wall.
- Press the left foot firmly into the wall to deepen the stretch.
- Stay here for 5 deep breaths before repeating on the other side.
Legs Up The Wall | 3 min
- Lie on your back about 3 feet from the wall. Rest your legs against the wall and relax your arms by your side, palms up.
- You may need to inch your body forward or back to find the optimal position. You should feel that the wall can support the weight of your legs without straining your lower back.
- Stay here for at least 3 minutes. Then roll to your side and slowly move out of the pose.
For more soothing wall exercises, try these nine easy stretches that relieve tight hips, or use it to support you as you learn how to do a headstand.