Upper Back Stretches/Work Outs

  • jsowneon

    Posts: 119

    Aug 24, 2013 6:39 AM GMT
    Lately after workouts it feels like the muscles between the shoulder blades tense up around my spine. I've tried to stretch out before and after working out but it doesn't seem to hit it the spot. It feels like an itch I can't scratch. I think I feel it most after using the rowing machine and/or ab workouts.

    I know there's chiropractors, acupuncture, and hot baths with Epsom salt(doesn't do much for me). But trying to find out if there are any good stretches/workouts to try first please.
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    Aug 24, 2013 8:30 PM GMT
    Did you try to have someone massage it for you?
  • jsowneon

    Posts: 119

    Aug 27, 2013 2:33 AM GMT
    mrap2 saidDid you try to have someone massage it for you?


    Ya just looking to find more workout/stretching type stuff.
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    Aug 27, 2013 2:48 AM GMT
    Rowing exercises are really bad for your back heads up. Sitting in general puts a ton of pressure on your discs and muscles in your back. It also incorporates your hammies. I injured my back 7 years ago really badly by using that machine. This is worsened by poor technique and your body that intuitively wants to make moves later than when you actually need to move in order to transition properly. My back specialist labeled it as on of the machines that keeps him in business.

    I spent $3000 on trips to the chiro and ortho drs until I went to a specialist who sent me to rehab where they gave me the following universal lower back stretches (fixed everything). http://www.smoconline.com/Rehab_lower_back.pdf
  • jsowneon

    Posts: 119

    Aug 29, 2013 6:51 AM GMT
    Myol saidRowing exercises are really bad for your back heads up. Sitting in general puts a ton of pressure on your discs and muscles in your back. It also incorporates your hammies. I injured my back 7 years ago really badly by using that machine. This is worsened by poor technique and your body that intuitively wants to make moves later than when you actually need to move in order to transition properly. My back specialist labeled it as on of the machines that keeps him in business.

    I spent $3000 on trips to the chiro and ortho drs until I went to a specialist who sent me to rehab where they gave me the following universal lower back stretches (fixed everything). http://www.smoconline.com/Rehab_lower_back.pdf


    Thanks for the advice... my lower back is fine thou. My upper back is what I've been having problems with lately. When I do the rowing machine I'm not using massive amounts of waits and not to sound like I'm bragging but I think my form is alright, at least with that one. Never really had lower back problems from that at least. I know my posture plays a part in the upper back and I'm working on adjusting that. Just was really looking for some nice Upper Back(between the shoulder blades) stretches and workouts to hit that part.
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    Aug 29, 2013 7:08 AM GMT
    Fold your hands together in front of you about stomach level. push your shoulders forward, focusing the stretch on that upper back section.

    Even better, get a tennis ball. Lay it on the ground, and lay that section of your back on it (gently), then roll around on it to loosen the area. add pressure the more comfortable you are with the feeling. (a lacrosse-type ball that is very dense works much better once you get used to the pressure).


    Hope this helps you.
  • jsowneon

    Posts: 119

    Aug 31, 2013 3:56 AM GMT
    ECnAZ saidFold your hands together in front of you about stomach level. push your shoulders forward, focusing the stretch on that upper back section.

    Even better, get a tennis ball. Lay it on the ground, and lay that section of your back on it (gently), then roll around on it to loosen the area. add pressure the more comfortable you are with the feeling. (a lacrosse-type ball that is very dense works much better once you get used to the pressure).


    Hope this helps you.


    Thanks. I was using the stretch rack at the gym and it wasn't really hitting that spot. It's funny how a slight adjustment like the stretch you mentioned Really helped.

    Waiting for my next day off to go get a tennis ball and try your other suggestion.

    Thanks again icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 17, 2013 7:06 PM GMT
    jsowneon saidLately after workouts it feels like the muscles between the shoulder blades tense up around my spine. I've tried to stretch out before and after working out but it doesn't seem to hit it the spot. It feels like an itch I can't scratch. I think I feel it most after using the rowing machine and/or ab workouts.

    I know there's chiropractors, acupuncture, and hot baths with Epsom salt(doesn't do much for me). But trying to find out if there are any good stretches/workouts to try first please.


    The upper back muscles can be hard to stretch on your own as the thoracic spine doesn't move much, however there are a few things you can do yourself with some assistance.
    - I would try stretching your levator scapulae muscle (this muscle starts from the base of your head and goes to the top of you shoulder blade). Google levator scapulae stretches.
    - I would also stretch upper trapezius muscles. Most guys who work out tend to be upper trap dominant which can create muscle tightness in the neck and shoulder region. Google upper trapezius stretches.
    - A way you can massage the muscles between your shoulder blades (rhomboids, erector spinae muscles), grab a tennis ball and put it inside a pillowcase. Grab the end of the pillow case and drape the pillowcase over your shoulder placing the tennis ball in the area you want to massage. Lean against a wall and slide up and down massaging the muscle area with the ball. Use your own bodyweight to apply pressure.

    I hope this helps icon_smile.gif
  • Lo3iondo

    Posts: 9

    Oct 17, 2013 2:45 AM GMT
    The post above is very accurate.

    Doing a side plank on your hand (versus bringing your elbow down) and incorporating external rotation to your forearm will draw the scapula toward the spine and stretch the above mentioned areas (levator scapula and traps).

    You can try bringing your hand to the wall first if you don't want to do side plank on the floor. Make sure that your hand doesn't move when you rotate your forearm externally (the bicep will rotate toward your fixed hand).
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    Oct 17, 2013 4:11 AM GMT
    A good upper back (and depending on the range you go, your lats, too) stretch to attempt is...

    image_005888.jpg

    Try and get your elbows to touch, or as far as you can get them close together. And to increase the stretch, further push elbows together and forward. You can also do this kneeling in front of a bench, or your bed.

    If that doesn't work, maybe some thoracic

    It's true the thoracic spine doesn't move too much in the sagittal plane (flexion/extension); however, it does move a lot in the transverse plane (rotation). Without that transverse plane movement, you wouldn't be able to twist your torso to either side.