Middle back exercises are often overlooked by people who are hoping to strengthen different parts of their bodies. If you're completing a holistic and thorough workout session, you'll need to take the time to address your middle back, as well as your upper and lower back muscles. The back muscles help to support and strengthen the core muscles at the front of your body. While many people take lots of time to focus on these muscles (the abs, pecs and other muscles in the same area), they leave them weaker by not addressing the back muscles as well. Read on for a few effective middle back exercises.
1. Upward Stretch
One of the most basic middle back exercises helps to keep the muscles in this part of your body flexible and even. This prevents them from becoming strained or pulled as you exercise. To complete the upward stretch, sit upright with your torso away from the back of a chair or wall. Lift your right arm up over your head as if you're raising your hand. When you've lifted it up as high as you're comfortable with, extend it slightly farther to stretch the muscle gently. Repeat with the other arm.
When seated at a chair with arm rests on both sides, turn slightly to the left and place your left arm across the back of the arm rest. Place your right arm across the front of the arm rest. Keeping your hips in line with your legs, rotate your torso gently from this position to a forward position and back again. Repeat as many times as is comfortable, then switch your arms to the other arm rest and repeat in the opposite direction.
3. Toe Touches
Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Keeping your back straight, bend at your torso and touch your toes with both hands. Rise back up to an upright position. As you become more comfortable with this exercise, extend your feet slightly out away from the chair to increase the distance that you stretch.
4. Elbow Tuck
The elbow tuck is a good way to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your middle back, while not putting a stress on any other part of your body. Stand upright and place your hands behind your back. Clasp your hands together behind you, with your arms fully extended. Draw your elbows in toward each other as close as possible. Simultaneously, tip your head and shoulders backward slightly to augment the stretch. Hold for a few seconds and then release.
In addition to these exercises, there are a number of other ways to exercise your middle back muscles. Yoga and pilates both have excellent positions that help to benefit this hard to target group of muscles. As with any other muscle group, it's important to stretch before and after you work out, and avoid overextending yourself.