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For a Back Stretch, Try the Elbow Press

The elbow press is a type of stretching exercise that bends the back backward, in an extension. To do an elbow press:

  • Lie on your stomach on the floor, keeping the tops of your feet flat against the floor and slightly apart.

  • Take a few deep breaths to help you relax and feel comfortable.

  • Keeping your forearms and elbows close to your sides, press yourself up with your forearms. Keep your elbows bent and your forearms and hands on the floor.

  • Press your chest, neck, and head up while your buttocks, abdomen (stomach), and hips remain on the floor, relaxed. Hold this position for at least 15 seconds to 30 seconds.

  • Lower yourself slowly back to the floor. 

  • Repeat this exercise 2 times or 3 times. 

  • If you experience any pain in the lower back, stop the exercise and consult with your health care provider. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Bellendir, Trina, MSPT, CLT
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Annual Review Date: 10/28/2013
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.