How to use a simple door frame to fix your back

Done right, your home’s architecture can double as a chiropractor

A man is stretching in the doorway of his house.

This guy gets it. Try stretching your door frame out of habit whenever you get a chance to get up and away from your desk.

Some of us wellness enthusiasts have gotten really enterprising during the pandemic, finding ways to organize the entire workout with ergonomic chairs, milk bottles, plastic tubes Spare PVC from the garage, you name it. Then gyms reopened and working out at home suddenly felt too claustrophobic. The kitchen chair becomes a kitchen chair again.

However, a sustainable and creative exercise routine might consider adopting a combination of both. We don’t have to give up our healthy habits. There are things in your home that are obvious parts in-house can support your needs 24/24. Like the humble sash, it’s one of the most underrated ways to loosen or stretch a tight back.

It’s a match made in heaven: we all have tight backs (80% of American adults will deal with low back pain And 80% of us now work in sedentary jobs) and we all have door frames. They’re sturdy, secure and perfectly vertical, making them the premier tool for realigning the spine and a great way to warm up for your actual workout, whenever (or anywhere) possible.

Door frame exercises for a healthy back

  1. upper back: My favorite. Stand facing the door frame, feet shoulder-width apart. Place both hands on the door frame at shoulder height. Lean forward and just drop your chest to the ground. You will feel a stretch in your upper back and between your shoulder blades. Take deep breaths and hold as long as it feels right.
  2. Open Chest: This is a famous one, usually designed to target the pectoral muscles and open the chest. Stand in front of an open door. Raise your arms to the side and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, with your forearms facing up. Place your forearms on the door frame, your elbows at shoulder height. Slowly step forward with one leg, allowing your chest and shoulders to stretch slightly. Make sure you’re not overstretching or forcing your body into a position that causes you pain. Switch sides to stretch the other arm.
  3. Squeeze the shoulder blades: Lie on your side, right shoulder facing the door frame. Extend your right arm and place your hand on the frame. Now, rotate your upper body to the left while keeping your arms steady. This action squeezes your shoulder blades together, helping to reduce round shoulders. Switch sides when you’re ready.
  4. Cat-Cow X door: This one is a bit more advanced; it mimics the cat-cow stretch in yoga but uses a door frame for added stability. Stand about arm’s length away from the frame. Place both hands on the frame, lean forward slightly and arch your back, tucking your chin into your chest. Then arch your back and lift your chin. After doing a few swings here, I wanted to try some weight-supported push-ups against the door frame.

How to restart the habit

At the end of the day, consistency is key. Try incorporating these into your daily routine. You may have to pay a quick fee to leave your bedroom every morning when you wake up. Or consider scheduling your routine to whatever time period you like best with an improved proportion of standing hours.

That means, every time you get up from your desk, pause to stretch briefly at your near threshold (which is more enjoyable than answering emails, anyway). Over time, you will not only notice a difference in your back health, but you will also find a surprising appreciation for doorways around the world.

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