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6 Mobility Exercises that Improve Back Extension

With many of us sitting for long stretches during our daily lives, almost all of us can benefit from regular mobility work to restore extension through the spine, mainly the thoracic spine.

Sitting and working with our arms in front of us also tends to rob us of healthy flexion of our shoulder joints - that is, our ability to raise our arms up in front of us and overhead.

So it's no surprise that most people living in first world nations today eventually experience back and shoulder pain.

Below are six mobility exercises that I have found immensely helpful for improving back health. All of them are also helpful for shoulder health. Some thoughts to keep in mind whenever you try exercises that are new to you:

  • Let your body be your guide - only try movements that you feel capable of doing without hurting yourself. Even a few inches of movement (amplitude), and one or two repetitions of any of the exercises below will lead to some benefit.

  • None of the exercises shown are intended to have you exert maximum strength; the goal is to take your body through quality, controlled movement, which will naturally lead to gains in mobility and functional strength.

  • Maintain steady breathing throughout.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me directly at

Elevated Cat Stretch - aim to hold for up to 30 seconds, or 5 slow repetitions of 5 seconds each.

Inverted Cat Stretch - aim to hold for up to 30 seconds, or 5 slow dips of your pelvis.

Band-Assisted Back Extensions - aim to work up to 10 quality repetitions.

Rocking Cobra - aim for 10 quality cycles.

Rocking Table - aim for 10 quality repetitions.

Revolving Table - aim to do this continuously for up to 30 seconds.

For an overview of exercise progressions that you can work at to improve your mobility and balance in a systematic way, please feel free to visit our Mobility Exercise Progressions page here:

Mobility Exercise Progressions

For some suggestions on how to set up a simple workout area at home, please feel free to view:

Suggested Resources for a Home Gym


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Just wanted to say I love how your dog is your spotter during your exercises!