1. Half Kneeling Dowel Twist
Torso rotation is essential for sports such as tennis and golf and every day activities such as driving. These movements isolate the torso from the lower body and improve both internal and external rotation in the upper body.
- Kneeling on the floor with your right foot in front and your left knee on the floor slightly behind, place the dowel across your upper back with one hand on each end. Your core should be tight and shoulders pulled back.
- Rotate your torso outward over your left knee, keeping the dowel flat across your back. Turn as far as it is comfortable until you feel the stretch along your right side. Hold for 10 seconds.
- To complete the exercise, rotate to the right as far as it is comfortable and hold for 10 seconds.
Tip: Maintain straight spinal alignment with your abs tight and shoulders back to get the best benefits from this stretch.
2. Back Extension on Stability Ball
Whether you sit or stand for long periods of time, a stationary position places a lot of pressure on the spinal column. This explains the discomfort felt after sitting at a desk all day, driving a long distance. This stretch expands and decompresses the spine.
- Begin by lying with your middle to upper back on the stability ball. With your knees bent, plant your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms above your chest, with hands together and fingers pointed upward.
- Complete the stretch by reaching your arms overhead. Allow your neck and back to relax. Keeping your arms straight and hands together, gently exhale and inhale as you feel the stretch in the upper back.
Challenging: This stretch can be made more strenuous by calling on the core muscles and extending the legs instead of bending the knees.