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Back Stretches Over Backbench

Backbench Practice with a similar shaped bench. This prop can be used in many ways and for a wide range of poses. Use it to release your tight back, to open up your chest and shoulders, to expand your rib cage to improve breathing, to relieve back/shoulder/neck tension after a long day on the computer, driving etc..., as a good prep for or as an alternative to a full backbend practice.

Back Stretches

The demonstration below focuses essentially on the back with some of the poses involving the shoulders, hips and legs. The aim here is to use this prop to open the chest, stretch the back and improve flexibility.

You can increase/decrease the stretch/lift/extension of different body parts depending on how you place the narrow end of the backbench, either towards the head or the feet, also on how you place your back (upper, mid, lower or sacrum) on the apex of the backbench (see white arrows). Arms and legs variations will also alter the stretch.

The backbench can be used by itself if you prefer a sharp stretch or with additional props on top of it to create softness, height or support as demonstrated below. You may need more or less support for your own body.


  1. Apex to chest - Chest lift, upper back + shoulders stretch.

  2. Apex to chest - Variation: arms over head.