Bear Technologies

Midback Stretch

Stretches: Muscles of the mid back.
Technique: While standing, reach above your head, touching hands together.
Rotate your trunk clockwise slightly, and bend to the left side.
Repeat on opposite side.
Tip: By varying the amount of trunk rotation and bending, you can stretch different parts of the mid back muscles.

Posterior Neck Stretch

Stretches: Muscles over back of the neck.
Technique: While sitting or standing, place one or both hands on the back of head.
Keep shoulders down and exhale during stretch.
Gently pull chin down towards your chest as far as it will comfortably go.
Tip: Progress gradually until you can touch your chin to your chest.

Neck Rotation Stretch

Stretches: Muscles over side of neck.
Technique: While sitting or standing, rotate your head to one side.
Gently push on your chin until you feel the stretch.
Repeat on other side.
Tip: Relax your shoulders during the stretch.
 
Stretches: Muscle over top of shoulder (trapezius)
Technique: While sitting or standing, place your right hand behind your back and your left hand on your head as in the diagram.
Rotate head 45 degrees clockwise, and pull 45 degrees foreword with your left hand as in diagram.
Repeat on other side.
Tip: By varying the amount of head rotation, you can stretch different parts of the trapezius muscle. 45 degrees of rotation stretches the outer trapezius, whereas 0-10 degrees rotation stretches the inner trapezius and levator scapula muscle.

Mid Back Seated Rotation

Stretches: Mid and lower back muscles
Technique: While sitting in a chair, reach around with both hands and grab onto the back or side of the chair.
Rotate your trunk clockwise, using your arms to gently force the stretch.
Repeat on other side.
Tip: Maintain erect posture while stretching.

Corner Stretch

Stretches: Muscles over upper chest (pectoralis muscles)
Technique: Place your feet about 1-2 feet from the corner of the wall.
Hands can be placed at shoulder height, or moved slightly above or below depending upon the area you wish to stretch.
Gradually lean foreward until you feel the stretch.
Tip: Keep knees unlocked while standing against wall.
 

Prayer Stretch

Stretches: Mid back muscles
Technique: Assume the praying position as in the diagram.
Lock your hands together, and arch your mid back upwards.
Gently reach your hands foreword and to the left (stretches right side of mid back).
Stretch opposite side by reaching to the right.
Tip: Try to keep buttocks on heels.

Angry Cat Stretch

Stretches: Mid and lower back muscles
Technique: Assume the kneeling position as in the diagram.
Tuck your chin to chest, tighten your stomach muscles, and arch your back.
Relax the stretch by looking up, relaxing the stomach muscles, and dropping the arch.
Tip: Use padding under your knees if you have any knee pain.

Lower Trunk Rotation

Stretches: Lower back muscles
Technique: Assume position as in diagram with knees up, feet together, and back flat.
Slowly rotate knees to one side and hold the stretch.
Move knees to the opposite side and stretch.
Tip: Placing your hands out to the side will help keep your back flat and improve your stretch.

Knees to Chest

Stretches: Lower back and buttocks muscles.
Technique: Lying on your back, grasp the right knee with your hands and pull to your chest, stretching for 30 sec.
Grasp the left knee and pull to your chest ( thereby holding both knees) and hold for 30 sec.
Return the right knee to the ground, while holding the left knee, and stretch for 30 sec.
Tip: While holding each knee individually at your chest, pull the knee across your body to the opposite shoulder and hold for an additional 30 seconds. This stretches the piriformis muscle, a common source of lower back muscle pain.

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