GENERAL INFORMATION ON
 
UPPER BACK, CHEST, RIB STRETCHES
AND BREATHING EXERCISES


Note: Please consult with your Osteopath prior to commencing these exercises



BASIC




BREATHING EXERCISES


Belly Breathing Exercise (Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Lie on your back with your knees up and completely relax. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breath in through your nose taking in as much air as you comfortably can and allow the hand on your belly to raise higher than the one on the chest (this shows that air is being pulled into the base of your lungs). Hold for up to 7 seconds and then slowly breathe out through the mouth for up to 8 seconds (contract your belly muscles to fully release as much air as possible). Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Seated Belly Breathing Exercise (Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Whilst seated with good posture place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breath in through your nose taking in as much air as you comfortably can and allow the hand on your belly to raise higher than the one on the chest (this shows that air is being pulled into the base of your lungs). Hold for up to 7 seconds and then slowly breathe out through the mouth for up to 8 seconds (contract your belly muscles to fully release as much air as possible). Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.



STRETCHES


Upper Back Side-Bend Stretch
Stand up straight with your arms on your sides and side bend your upper back as far as comfortable to one side, hold for 3 seconds and then and repeat to the other side. Concentrate your stretch through your upper back. Perform 10 stretches, three times per day.

Horizontal Rolled Up Towel Upper Back Stretch (Thoracic Mobilisation)
Place a rolled up towel horizontally under your upper back and rest. Allow the weight of your head and neck and low back to create a gentle stretch through the vertebrae of your upper back. Enhance the stretch by taking deep breaths. Perform this stretch for 3-10 minutes.


Vertical Rolled Up Towel Upper Back Stretch (Thoracic Mobilisation)
Place a rolled up towel vertically under your upper back and rest. Allow the weight of your shoulders create a gentle stretch through your upper back and ribs. Enhance the stretch by taking deep breaths. Perform this stretch for 3 to 10minutes.



SEATED STRETCHES

Seated Flexion Stretch
Whilst seated gently drop your head forwards and feel for a stretch down your neck and upper back, hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Tuck your chin in for a stronger stretch. Perform 10 stretches, three times per day.



BROOM STICK STRETCH


Upper Back Rotation Stretch (Thoracic Rotation)
Stand upright holding a broom stick across the top of your back. Gently rotate your upper back as far as comfortable one way, hold for 3 seconds and then the other. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions, three times per day.



ALL BREATHING EXERCISES


Belly Breathing Exercise (Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Lie on your back with your knees up and completely relax. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breath in through your nose taking in as much air as you comfortably can and allow the hand on your belly to raise higher than the one on the chest (this shows that air is being pulled into the base of your lungs). Hold for up to 7 seconds and then slowly breathe out through the mouth for up to 8 seconds (contract your belly muscles to fully release as much air as possible). Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Seated Belly Breathing Exercise (Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Whilst seated with good posture place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Breath in through your nose taking in as much air as you comfortably can and allow the hand on your belly to raise higher than the one on the chest (this shows that air is being pulled into the base of your lungs). Hold for up to 7 seconds and then slowly breathe out through the mouth for up to 8 seconds (contract your belly muscles to fully release as much air as possible). Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Seated Belly Breathing Exercise (Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Whilst seated with good posture breath in through your nose taking in as much air as you comfortably. Feel for air pulling into the base of your lungs and your lower ribs in your back pushing outwards. Hold for up to 7 seconds and then slowly breathe out through the mouth for up to 8 seconds (contract your belly muscles to fully release as much air as possible). Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Sigh Breath Out (Relaxation Breathing)
Whilst standing/seated with good posture breath in through your nose and take in as much air as comfortable (feel for your belly rising) and then breathe out through your mouth whilst making a sigh sound
until as much air as comfortable has been removed from your lungsTry and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Nose Breathing Exercise
Whilst standing/seated with good posture breath in through your nose and take in as much air as comfortable (feel for your belly rising) and then breathe out through your nose until as much air as comfortable has been removed from your lungs.

Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Nostril Breathing Exercise
Whilst standing/seated with good posture and with your thumb closing one nostril take a deep breath in through the open nostril. Take in as much air as comfortable (feel for your belly rising), hold for 4 seconds and open the nostril covered by your thumb and close the other nostril with your index finger, and then breathe out through your other nostril until as much air as comfortable has been removed from your lungs.
Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.



INTERMEDIATE




BREATHING EXERCISES


Deep Breath In (Forced Inhalation)
Whilst seated with good posture and with one hand on your belly open your mouth and breath in hard feeling for your belly to come out with your hand. Exhale and relax. Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


Deep Breath Out (Forced Exhalation)
Whilst seated with good posture and with one hand on your belly open your mouth and breath in and then breath out hard feeling for your belly to come in with your hand and your stomach contracting.
Try and perform a set of 5 of these every 10-15 seconds. You can perform this 5-10 times per day.


STRETCHES


Floor Knees Up Flexion/Extension Stretch
Bring your knees up under you and point your toes. Bend your head down and stretch your arms out in front of you. Perform 10 stretches, three times per day.


ADVANCED




STRETCHES

Floor Back Extension Stretch (Head, Arms, and Knees)
Lie on your front, bend your knees to 90 degrees, lift up your hips and legs and feel a stretch through your upper and lower back, hold for 3 seconds and then relax back down. Perform 10 stretches, three times per day.



FOAM ROLLER

Foam Roller Upper Back Stretch
This is a simple and relaxing exercise that effectively stretches the upper back but also influences the chest, neck, shoulders and lower back. Simply place the roller along your spine and balance with your knees up (feet slightly apart) and your arms stretched outwards. Make fine adjustments with your legs, back, neck, and arms until you find a comfortable position and simply keep this position for 3-10 minutes or as long as comfortable.


Foam Roller Upper Back Stretch (Thoracic Mobilisation)
Place a foam roller under your upper back and rest. Allow the weight of your head and neck and low back to create a gentle stretch through the vertebrae of your upper back. Enhance the stretch by gently rolling the foam roller back and forwards. Perform this stretch for 3-10 minutes.


Upper Back Extension Stretch (Foam Roller)
Whilst on all fours with both hands on the foam roller in front of you gently roll your arms forward dropping your head and upper back in line and arch through your upper back, hold for 3 seconds and then return to the start position. Perform 10 stretches, three times per day.


Upper Back Rotation Stretch (Foam Roller)
Whilst on all fours reach one arm under and across to the opposite side with the top of your arm on the foam roller. Gently enhance the twist by rolling your arm with the foam roller creating a twist through your spine, hold for 3 seconds and the roll to the start position. Perform 10 stretches, three times per day.



FIT BALL


Fit Ball Stretch

Gently lie on the ball with both feet firmly planted on the floor and then lean backwards. Perform this stretch for 3-10 minutes.