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  • Writer's pictureCoach Matt Pippin

Upper Back Pain Stretches and Exercises

Ever get the feeling that your upper back keeps getting more and more rounded everyday causing pain and discomfort? Unfortunately, our daily lives are contributing to this problem, but don’t worry there is hope!

Today I’m going to show you a simple exercise you can do anywhere, that will start hacking away at the upper back pain and tightness.


Here’s a little insider secret. Your upper back is actually built to be a little rounded forward.



So why does everyone preach perfect, straight posture?

The thought process is that if you counteract the rounded position, that your body will adjust to this new Tin Man way of living.

The reality is that if your upper back is straight and stiff day in and day out, you’ll essentially get stuck there with a slew of other issues popping up like lower back pain and pinchy shoulder blades.


In order to have a pain-free upper back you must teach the thoracic spine to have control in flexion, which is rounding your upper back forward.

If you’re unable to move in this position efficiently, then no amount of trying to stretch your spine backwards will help. For simplicity, just know that you have to own flexion in order to get those aches and pains in your upper back to finally go away.

Today’s exercise is the first step in learning how to isolate thoracic flexion by using a wall or chair to ensure it’s coming from your upper back and not anywhere else. You’ll definitely be surprised at how difficult going into this position is when you do it actively.

If you do it properly, you’ll feel your upper abs firing like crazy, and your upper back lengthening. It’ll only take a couple of minutes and is something you can do anywhere.


For even more of my favorite mobility exercises to bulletproof your body, click the link below where you can get my 3 must-have mobility moves for free. Once you try them, you’ll see why they’re my all-time favorite.

The best mobility exercise for shoulders



Coach Matt Pippin

Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.


  • NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

  • Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist

  • Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach

  • Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)

  • Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor

  • Weck Method Qualified


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