An achy back and tight shoulders don’t stand a chance with these easy wall stretches.
Whether you’ve got lower back pain, middle back soreness or aches in your upper back and shoulders, these gentle wall stretches can help. Bonus: All of them can be done without you having to maneuver yourself down and up off the floor.
These nine wall stretches can be done as a routine or individually. We recommend that you do these stretches two or three times a day to help beat back tightness and pain – just check with your doctor first.
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Double V | 30 sec per side
Start with this stretch to relieve tightness between the shoulder blades.
- Stand to face a wall. Place your hands on the wall and turn your fingers inward to face each other.
- Crawl your hands past each other to cross your arms. Continue crawling your hands outward until your arms are straight.
- Turn your palms to face away from the wall and step your feet closer to the wall. Hold for 30 seconds, taking deep breaths and feeling your back stretch. Then, switch the crossing of your arms and repeat.
Side Bend | 30 sec per side
Use this stretch to loosen up the muscles between your ribs, which can cause back pain and constricted breathing when tight.
- Stand with your right shoulder facing the wall. Place your right palm on the wall and step your feet away from the wall until your arm is straight. Your wrist should be in line with your shoulder.
- Reach your left arm up and over your head so that your fingers are reaching towards the wall. Gently bump your hips to the left.
- Breathe into your left side as you hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Puppy Stretch | 30 sec
This stretch helps ease pain and tightness in the mid-upper back and shoulders.
- Stand about a foot away from the wall, facing it. Reach your arms up to the wall and bring your palms to touch.
- Bend your elbows to bring your thumbs behind your head, pressing your chest towards the wall. For a deeper stretch, step your feet further away from the wall.
- Hold for 30 seconds.
Knee-To-Chest | 30 sec per side
The stretch alleviates tightness in the hip flexors, which can lead to lower back pain.
- Lean with your back against the wall, and your feet about a one-foot distance from the wall.
- Pick up your right foot and lift the knee up towards your chest. Interlace your hands around the front of your knee and squeeze it up and in.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Figure 4 | 30 sec per side
This stretch opens up the outer hip and glute muscles, which can compress the sciatic nerve and cause lower back pain.
- Remain with your back against the wall. Step your toes out about two feet away from the wall.
- Pick up your right foot and cross your right ankle over your left thigh.
- Bend your left knee and slide your back down the wall your knee should be at a 90-degree angle. Flex your right foot. You should feel a stretch through your outer right hip.
- For a deeper sensation, gently press down on your right thigh to open the hip. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Supine Twist | 30 sec per side
Gently twist your spine in this wall stretch to increase mobility and relieve pain in the upper and lower back.
- Stand with your back against the wall and your feet a few inches away.
- Pick up your right knee and hug it into your chest.
- Take a breath in and on your exhale, use your left hand cross your right thigh across your body. Straighten your right arm out along the wall with your palm facing forward.
- Hold the twist for 30 seconds to feel your chest, lower back, and hip opening. Then, switch sides.
Wall Downdog | 30 sec
Alleviate upper back pain and stiffness with this wall stretch that loosens up the lats, chest, and shoulders.
- Begin standing with your hands shoulder-width distance apart on the wall.
- Walk your feet back and crawl your hands down the wall until they are at your hip-height.
- Then, position your ankles in line with your hips so that your body is at a 90-degree angle from the wall.
- Press your palms into the wall and gently lower your chest down to feel a stretch along the chest and shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds.
Standing Forward Bend | 30 sec
Relax your lower back muscles in this pain-relieving wall stretch.
- Stand with your back against the wall and walk your feet out about a foot.
- Bring a generous bend into your knees and fold forward with a flat back, bringing your hands to the floor. If they can’t reach the floor, bend your knees even more.
- Rest your torso on your thighs and let your head and shoulders relax. Hold for 30 seconds as you feel your lower back and hamstrings release.
Hamstrings Stretch | 30 sec per side
Tight hamstrings can lead to tight hip flexors, which contributes to back pain. Relieve hamstring tightness quickly with this stretch.
- Stand to face the wall.
- Place your right foot up on the wall about hip-height. Your legs should be at a 90-degree angle. Press your foot firmly into the wall for stability.
- Reach towards your toes with both hands, bending your knee as much as you need to reach your hands to your foot. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
(Your Next Workout: 9 Easy Wall Stretches to Fix Tight Shoulders)