8 simple exercises you can do anywhere to relieve back and neck pain
Is there anyone who doesn't need a simple and free way to relieve tension in their body?

Most of us are pretty sedentary and use devices that cause us to hunch forward quite a bit.

As a result of this bad posture, the muscles in the front of our bodies get tight and our hips and backs move out of alignment, causing pain that radiates all the way up to our heads.


Although we know all the common wisdom about having good posture, taking breaks, and walking as much as possible throughout the day, we don’t always follow through on this good advice. Even worse, we may find ourselves slouching or hunched over and wonder why we’re experiencing soreness or nerve pain.

Fortunately, there are free solutions that only require us to do some easy exercises.

(Of course, if you’ve had surgery or a serious injury in your back, neck, hips, or knees, you’ll want to consult a physician to see if these will work for you!)

To keep your back and shoulders in tip-top shape, here are some simple exercises to keep you loose and limber.

Each set focuses on a different set of muscles.

Spinal Flexibility

1. Bent-knee twist:
Lie gently on your back with both knees bent and angled slightly to one side of your body. Stretch your arms out to your sides and lay your palms flat on the ground. Once you’re in position, gently twist your head in the opposite direction of your knees so that your cheek is on the ground.

Rest in this position for 2-5 minutes and then do the same on the other side. For best results, repeat this twice on each side.

2. Straight leg twist:
Lie on your back with your arms loosely on the ground beside you and your legs straight out, feet pointing up. From this position, bend one of your legs over the other and allow your lower back to twist gently in that direction. At the same time, let your head twist the opposite way.

Repeat this the other way and keep your shoulders flat on the ground at all times. Repeat this exercise 1-2 times on each side (and don’t overdo it!).

Ab and Midback Strengthening

1. Cat & Cow
First get on your hands and knees with your toes tucked on the ground behind you. As you inhale deeply, arch your back upward and gently tuck your neck and head down under your body. Stay in this position for 15 to 30 seconds.

Next, reverse this motion as you exhale by curving your back inward and letting your neck and head curve back upwards (for another 15 to 30 seconds). If done correctly, your movements will resemble a cat stretching! Do this exercise 5-7 times all the way through.

2. Balancing table:
Similar to the above, arch your back and lift one knee up to your chest as if trying to reach your forehead. Then, stretch that same leg outward and up behind you while lifting and stretching the opposite arm out in front of you.

Repeat this process at a slow speed 10 times.

Ab and Lower Back Strengthening

1. Engage core
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your pelvis pushing into the floor. With your hands behind your head, gently exhale and lift your ribs off the ground (similar to a standard stomach crunch). Repeat this process slowly 10 times.

2. Oblique crunches:
Lay on your back with your hands gently behind your head and bend your knees, raising them 90 degrees to the ground with your lower legs straight out (like a bicycle sit-up position). From this position, gently pull one knee in while twisting in your shoulders to meet it with your opposite elbow.

Be sure to extend the opposite leg out as you do this and repeat on both sides, gently “bicycling” the air and twisting your elbows to both knees. Repeat this exercise 10 times with fluid motion throughout.

3. Leg raises
From your back with your arms on the ground beside you, gently bend your knees inward one at a time while extending the other one outward and up in front of you. Do this on both sides and repeat the process 10 times.

Obliques and Side Muscles

Wikimedia Commons - Jaykayfit
Wikimedia Commons - Jaykayfit

1. Modified side plank
Lie on your side in a straight line, resting on your forearm with your elbow directly under your shoulder. Your other arm can stay pressed to your side or you can put your hand on your hip.

Next, slightly tighten your abs and lift your hips off the floor, keeping a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for 20 to 40 seconds before lowering back down. Repeat this two or three times on each side.


If you’re eager to try some more exercises, there’s a 5-minute routine you can watch below!

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By Jessica
Jessica is a contributor at SBLY Media.