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Back Exercises


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This isn't any sort of dance-related injury but it seemed like people on here would probably be able to help. Basically I've had some problems with my shoulders and while doing the physio exercises on them I've noticed my entire back is really stiff. Does anyone know any exercises that might just stretch it out a bit that aren't overly strenuous? 

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I'm not an expert but a Pilates teacher recently told me about how some stiffness is due to tight fascia (connective tissue over muscles.) She got me lying on my back on top of a small hard ball with 'prickles' on (a bit like the tumble dryer balls) and rolling on it while in contact with stiff areas. It feels nice and improves flexibility. ......

I think the ballet physio Lisa Howell has some stuff on this.

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Hi shmendrick. After any back exercises you should always stretch the back out. I would recommend a simple 'shell stretch' where you sit on your heels, fold over at the hips and stretch your arms along the floor in front of you - laying on your thighs. Stay like that for a good 10 seconds then stay in a similar position but create a gap between your tummy and your thighs, so your weight sits back a bit more. Again take a good 10 seconds. Make sure you relax your head down so as not to create tension in your neck extensors. If for some reason this hurts your knees you can do a similar stretch by sitting on a chair and coming all the way forward.


I would suggest you find a good Pilates teacher in your area so you work your whole body not just one part, which can then lead to another aggravation(as you have discovered). I would recommend a teacher who operates a booking in system, limits the number of participants and gets you to complete a registration form which details your physical issues and concerns. Often gym Pilates classes are not recommended, not because of the teacher, but because the gym management dictates how the class is run and they tend to want as many people in a class as possible, and the teacher does not take individual responsibility for their participants, so no booking in history taken.


Sarahw' suggestion is good and feels nice. You can also get a tennis ball and do a bit of trigger point release with it against the wall on your tight muscles.


Hope this helps.

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