The erector spinae is a superficial group of back muscles that runs from the base of your skill and down to your upper pelvis. It works with the other back muscles to flex and extend your torso and some lateral flexion to the side. When you stretch your erector spinae, incorporate other muscle groups in the stretch because all muscles are connected to each other by connective tissues that affect each other's quality of movement, according to manual therapist Thomas Myers, author of “Anatomy Trains.”
Ball Lat Stretch
Kneel in front of a stability ball, and place your hands on top of it in a karate chop position. Sit back on your heels and lower your torso toward the ground until your arms and back are parallel to the ground. Hold the stretch for five to six deep breaths, and return to starting position. Perform the stretch two to three more times.
Anterior and Posterior Fascaie Stretch
Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Inhale and raise your arms above your head. Tighten your buttocks and lean your torso back to stretch your abs slightly. Exhale and bend your body forward to touch your toes or the ground. Hold the stretch for two deep breaths. Roll yourself up to standing position, and repeat the exercise five more times. Do not rush through this exercise or you could strain your back or legs.
Lateral Flexion Stretch
Stand in the same position as the previous exercise. Bend your torso to your left, and reach your right arm over your head. Tighten your buttocks to maintain balance. As you hold the stretch, reach your left arm across your chest to your right, rotating your upper spine slightly. Repeat the movement 10 times, and do the same on the other side. If one side of your body is tighter than the other, do an extra set on the tighter side, recommends physical therapist Chris Frederick, co-author of "Stretch to Win."
Self-myofascial release is a technique that breaks tissue adhesion in your body by applying gentle pressure on the tight spot. You can use a foam roller, an SMR-stick or a tennis ball rolled in a sock to roll on the tight spot. When you roll over the spot, hold and gently rub the area until the pain goes away. You should do this before and after a workout, Frederick recommends.
- "Anatomy Trains"; Thomas Myers; 2008
- "Stretch to Win"; Ann and Chris Frederick; 2006