Upper back & neck stretch: relieve rhomboid pain, muscle, and joint pain and treat a sore point between the shoulder blades.
Pain between the shoulder blades is often caused by muscular fatigue, which itself is the consequence of prolonged poor posture.
Pain between the shoulder blades may occur as a result of another problem, but there are so many opportunities not to stand up straight that the first thing to do is to watch one’s posture.
And it’s a little vicious because when all is well we do not think about it, and if we think about it, it’s because it’s too late: the damage is done.
Same thing when sitting down. Whatever the activity, it is easy to shrug your shoulders, tilt your head, and stay that way, until the first pain finally appears.
Upper back pain induced by poor posture
Upper back exercise: video
Be sure to enable closed captions so you can follow along.
For this upper back stretch (rhomboid muscles), we need a wall with a corner, or a door frame, or a piece of furniture on the side of which we will be able to take support.
Position yourself perpendicular to the wall, reach out, grab the corner, and rotate, keeping the forearm and elbow glued to the wall.
This is mandatory: to fully benefit from the effects of stretching, the arm must remain well tensioned, and the elbow must remain stuck to the wall. The stretch is felt in the neck, in the triceps, in the shoulder, and in the upper back, mainly on the side of the arm concerned.
If you do not feel the upper back stretch or not enough, it’s because your arm is not tight enough: move sideways from the corner of the wall, until you feel the upper back stretch.
Julie shows three ways to work this stretch out, but it is likely that depending on your particular case, you discover more variations
1. The classic
Breathe deeply, stay 30 seconds, during which you take the opportunity to focus on the sensations since this is where you will be able to determine which area to emphasize: more on the neck or more between the shoulder blades. You will quickly feel what is good for you.
Julie, she realized that this upper back stretch totally unties her neck,
and so she goes wild, but nevertheless smoothly, without risking of hurting herself.
2. The variations
Then do the same thing again, but by placing your hand at chest level: you must feel the upper back stretch between the shoulder blades and the spine.
And finally, one last time, placing the hand as low as possible while remaining straight. Ideally, at the hips level.
This upper back stretch is not trivial, and you are not supposed to bear any pain by practicing it: use common sense. If you feel any pain at all: ABORT!
Upper back stretch Image Gallery
Start the stretch by positionning yourself yourself perpendicular to the wall
upper back stretch step2
keep forearm and elbow glued to the wall during the whole stretch.
stretch is felt in the upper back & between the shoulder blades
untie your neck if you need to