Upper Back Stretch for Runners & Triathletes

Many of the “corporate athletes” I work with, who sit at a desk all day and fit their training around a busy schedule really seem to suffer with stiffness in the upper and mid back. Not only is this pretty uncomfortable, this can significantly affect posture, quality of movement, and as such – running form.

N.B. This isn’t just a corporate athlete issue, I know a number of pro athletes who really struggle with upper and mid back discomfort.

A number of readers will be familiar with the concept that tightness in Pec.Minor in the chest will pull the shoulders forward into the rounded, protracted position we associate with poor posture – but what about the tightness and fatigue felt in the upper and mid back that comes from relative weakness in the muscles of that region around the shoulder blades?

As with all muscular imbalances, the rehab plan needs to involve releasing/mobilising certain muscles, and activating/strengthening others. In the longer term, releasing Pec.Minor will help to improve upper and mid back posture and release tension in the muscles in that area… but in the shorter term, here’s a great stretching exercise to relieve the feeling of stiffness, tension and fatigue in the upper and mid back.

Check out the stretch in the video above…

Some will feel the stretch more than others – If you’re tight in this area, I often find it really hits the spot 🙂

Update November 2015

If you find this stretch particularly helpful, you’ll want to check-out this video: Upper Back Pain: Three Foam Roller Techniques

Last updated on March 2nd, 2021.