5 Twists To Loosen The Spine

5 Twists To Loosen The Spine

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5 Twists To Loosen The Spine

You know that feeling when your back is all loose? It's perfect. Twisting stretches can apparently help digestion, improve sleep and promote relaxation. Stretching in general ...

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You know that feeling when your back is all loose? It’s perfect. Twisting stretches can apparently help digestion, improve sleep and promote relaxation. Stretching in general has so many benefits and there’s no reason it should be skipped, it can even prevent back injuries. Sign me up! Feeling bloat or even tired? Twist that spine.

*Remember not to do anything that hurts and if you have a back condition, consult with your doctor. 

Twisting Spine Stretches

Hold these stretches as long as you like and do them whenever you want. Remember, any movement counts. I like to do them before bed or right away in the morning since the body is all crazy after sleeping. These twisting spine stretches are often used in yoga. 

Don’t feel like you have to do all of them. The twisting spine stretches are listed from likely easiest to most difficult. Please modify as needed.

Thread The Needle

  1. Start on all fours. 
  2. Reach the right hand straight up over your upper back, to open up
  3. Bring the right hand down and through under the left arm
  4. Rest your right shoulder on the ground and relax the head and neck down
  5. Relax the left arm out straight OR push left palm into ground for extra stretch
thread the needle stretch begin

Reach up to prepare

thread the needle stretch

Then reach under to “thread the needle”

Seated Spinal Twist

  1. Begin seated with both legs straight out
  2. Bring right knee in with heel close to butt
  3. Hug right knee in with left arm
  4. Twist to the right while hugging and look over the right shoulder
  5. Make sure to sit up tall
  6. Make it harder by bringing the left elbow across the right knee and twisting (see pic)
seated spinal twist

Easier version

seated spinal twist

Harder version


Supine Spinal Twist

  1. Begin lying on your back (AKA supine)
  2. Bring right knee to chest with both hands
  3. Take left hand and grab right knee
  4. With left hand, pull the right knee across the body (as far as comfortable)
  5. Let right arm go out straight or to a goal post shape and face right 

supine spinal twist


Sumo Squat Twist

  1. Start in a sumo squat position. 
  2. Bring right palm above right knee and left palm above left knee, turning fingers out
  3. Let the right shoulder fall towards the ground and look to the left
  4. Push the right hand into thigh for extra stretch

sumo squat twist

Lunge Twist

  1. Start in a hip flexor stretch position with right knee on the ground and left knee bent in front with foot flat
  2. Put palms together (not to be all crazy people, but just so it’s easier)
  3. Turn upper body to left and look left, keeping palms together
  4. Hook right elbow on the left knee and twist
  5. If you can’t reach your elbow to knee, then just twist to that side

lunge twist

twisting spine stretches


Like these stretches? Try to supplement with my Simple Stretches for the Lower Body and Posture Improving Exercises and Best Morning Stretches for improved back health!

What makes your back feel good?

Fresh Fitness: Do twisting spine stretches to improve flexibility in the spine, relaxation, digestion, and a better night’s sleep. 


Comments ( 32 )

  1. ReplyKatie foley
    Great tips! I personally do the supine spinal twist quite regularly because it helps both my back and my hips!
  2. ReplyAnna | GLAM ROCK GIRL
    Spinal twists are the best!!!
  3. ReplyShannon Sawicki
    My upper thoracic spine gives me a lot of grief and I incorporate many of these into my stretching to get relief.
  4. ReplyKatie
    Love how this is quick and easy!!
  5. ReplyDavi
    I'm 37 weeks pregnant right now, so I can't do most of these stretches, but my back feels better just by looking at the pictures! Definitely saving this for when I can twist again! :)
    • ReplyMindy Voet
      That surely makes sense. You may enjoy them after baby!
  6. ReplyDanielle
    Oh, the supine spinal twist feels soooo good. I love doing that one, but will have to add the others to a daily routine. I'm starting to feel good just thinking about it, haha. I love back stretches!
  7. How to Improve Posture: Simple Exercises to Get You Started
    […] Sore back? Try 5 Twists To Loosen The Spine […]
  8. ReplyCait Weingartner
    My back tends to get sore and tight after horseback riding, so I've been looking for a quick and easy stretching routine. I'm definitely going to give this one a try, thanks!
  9. ReplyBarbara
    Ooo, there's nothing like a good stretch. I do stretches like these most mornings. After having a pinched nerve in my neck a few years ago that was brought on by stress, I learned the benefits of stretching. It's so good of you to share these, Mindy, especially with the photos. :)
  10. ReplyKirsta
    This will definitely help my back after a long day at work! Thank you for sharing!
  11. ReplyGina Marie
    I need this post in my life. Going to try and incorporate this in the morning before I leave for work. I sit at a desk all day which can be terrible on my back
    • ReplyMindy Voet
      That sounds great! Mornings are a good time to stretch.
  12. ReplyCulture Trekking
    This looks so good right now as I sit in my chair
  13. ReplyShannon
    Supine Spinal Twist is my favorite after a run!
  14. ReplyBeth | Adventuring the Great Wide Somewhere
    This is EXACTLY what I need to "fix" things after spending my work days in an office chair! My lower back gets so squashed and stiff, and I am constantly stretching to try to relieve some of that tension. I'll have to try that Supine Spinal Twist when I get home today; I can already feel some relief just looking at it!
  15. ReplyNadalie
    YES, thank you Mindy! I am so getting up from this chair and doing this right now. All this desk living is really killing my back. Much appreciated, Nadalie
  16. ReplySamantha (Vibrant Yogini)
    Great post! I love incorporating these stretches in my yoga routine and really feel the benefits :) Thanks for sharing!
  17. ReplyGillian
    These are great. After my knee replacement, my hips etc realigned and I have been haveing problems with a lot of lower back stiffness.
  18. ReplyBailey
    Totally doing this tonight. I need to get back into stretching.
  19. ReplyStephanie @ A Lane in the Woods
    Love to do these first thing in the morning........
  20. ReplyCasey the College Celiac
    For the last six months or so, I've been doing a short yoga practice with moves like these every night. It definitely helps me stretch out after a long day of working at the computer! Threading the needle is one of my favorite stretches.
    • ReplyMindy Voet
      That's great! That's one of my favorite stretches too!
  21. ReplyAmy
    Great stretching routine. I had never thought of the sumo stretch as a back stretch, but as I tried it out a second ago I could definitely feel it. I have trouble with my back consistently -- upper and lower -- so I'm always looking for different ways to keep myself limber. Thank you!
    • ReplyMindy Voet
      You're welcome I hope your back feels better!
  22. ReplyPaula from Thevalueofamoment
    These are fantastic! Thanks so much for such a thorough post!

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