Yoga Stretches for the Upper Back

Young attractive woman practicing yoga, standing in asana paired with Cow Pose on the inhale, Cat exercise, Marjaryasana pose, working out in sportswear, indoor full length, grey studio background
Relieve stress and tension with Cat pose. (Image: fizkes/iStock/Getty Images)

Many people hold stress and tension in their upper backs, leading to tightness and pain. And although playing sports and lifting weights are good for your body, some activities can leave your upper back muscles feeling sore and stiff. Release tension and stretch tight upper back muscles with the ancient practice of yoga. Just a few poses performed when you're feeling particularly tense or after a workout can immediately help you feel better.

Cat Pose

One-half of a pose combo called Cat-Cow, Cat pose is so-named because it mimics the shape of a scared cat's arched back. Rounding your back and pressing your hands into the mat spreads the shoulder blades and stretches all the muscles of the upper back.

Eagle Arms

Full Eagle pose is a balancing posture performed on one leg; but there's no reason you can't do just the top half of the pose, which is a powerful opener for the upper back muscles and an easy pose to do anywhere when you're feeling upper back strain.

Rabbit Pose

One of the 26 postures performed in a Bikram yoga class, Rabbit pose lengthens the spine and stretches the muscles of the back, arms and shoulders.

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