With so much time spent at computers or hunched over personal electronic device, it's no wonder we are experiencing more midback tightness than ever before.

And, although this tightness may not feel particularly painful, it can greatly impact how your neck and low back feel.

You see, your body is one big chain. A pull or weakness at one spot in the chain can cause problems in other areas of your body.

So, even if you don't particularly feel like you have midback pain, it's a good idea to regularly do exercises to ensure this area's health.

5 Exercises You Can Do Right Now for Immediate Midback Pain Relief

These exercises are perfect for relieving midback pain STAT, but they're also ideal to keep the midback muscles healthy. Here are the five best exercises to help your midback feel better right now!

1. Stretch over the back of a chair.

This exercise is so simple but so effective. Take a minute to lean back over the back of your chair. The key to getting the best, pain-relieving stretch is to focus on letting this reach come from your middle back.

Too often, the reason this area is tight is because the upper back and/or lower back hop in and try to do all the work. Instead, challenge yourself to find the stretch in the middle of your back.

2. Round your back into Cat stretch.

cat stretch to relieve midback pain

By letting your spine round forward, you can find a great stretch for some crucial midback muscles. To make the most of your Cat stretch,

  • Make sure your hands are under your shoulders, knees are under your hips.
  • Press the ground away through your hands and knees. When you do this, you should see the eyes of your elbows rotate forward.
  • Inhale and draw your belly button toward your spine.
  • Exhale and round your back toward the ceiling.
  • Inhale to come back to neutral.
  • Complete several rounds.

3. Extend your spine into Cow pose.

cow pose

Sarah Stockett


Hi, I'm Sarah.
I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains.


After letting your spine round, it's a good idea to let it extend. This exercise will not only help balance the previous exercise, but it's also super-helpful for reversing the muscular damage from slouching.

In my opinion, there are two beneficial ways to practice Cow pose. In the first version, you only use your mid- and upper back muscles. In the second version, you use your entire spine.

To practice Cow pose:

  • Make sure your hands are under your shoulders, knees are under your hips.
  • Press the ground away through your hands and knees. When you do this, you should see the eyes of your elbows rotate forward.
  • Inhale, draw your belly button toward your spine, and allow your mid- and upper back (or entire spine) to extend. It might feel like you're opening your heart to the wall in front of you.
  • Exhale and return to neutral.

I like to complete two or three rounds of Cow pose where only my mid- and upper back open. Then, I like to do two or three rounds of allowing my entire spine to move.

4. Work your midback muscles with Locust pose.

locust pose to relieve midback pain

Locust pose is yet another way to help you focus on your midback muscles. Here's how to practice this gentle exercise:

  • Begin on your stomach with your legs about hip-width apart. Make sure the tops of your feet and knee caps are facing the Mat.
  • Bring your arms by your sides. You can choose whether you want your palms to face up, down, or toward your thighs.
  • Inhale, draw your belly button toward your spine, slide your shoulder blades toward each other, press down through the tops of your feet, and let your midback muscles work to lift you. Think about being straight like an arrow instead of curving up. Reach from the tips of your toes through the top of your head.
  • Hold and breathe for about five breaths.
  • When you're finished, lower down and turn your head one way to rest.
  • When you're ready, bring your head back to center and prepare for another lift.

5. Find natural inversion with Downward facing dog.

downward facing dog to relieve midback pain

All-day long, your body is fighting gravity. By the end of the day, you might feel like your body is being crumpled.

To help relieve pain and tension, you want to get into a position that allows the pull to reverse. This happens when you have your head lower than your hips.

This awesome pose is the perfect way to naturally traction your spine and relieve pain quickly. Here's what you need to know to get the most benefit from this pose:

  • Begin in an upsidedown V position. It doesn't particularly matter if your feet are close together or hip-width apart, but it does matter where your hands are. You want to make sure your hands are at least shoulder-width apart.
  • Press the floor away with your arms and notice the eyes of your elbows rotate forward.
  • Rotate your pelvis so it feels like you're sticking your butt out to the top of the wall behind you. If you feel like you need to bend your knees in order to do this, go ahead. This feeling of sticking your butt out is probably the #1 most important thing to do when you're in this pose.
  • Draw your belly button toward your spine.
  • Hold and breathe.

What Muscles Could Cause Midback Pain?

latissimus dorsi muscle

Thanks to Kenhub.com for the latissimus dorsi image.

When you're trying to figure out what is causing your midback pain, make sure to check out these muscles:

When you become a member of the Custom Pilates and Yoga community, you’ll learn simple, strengthening exercises to help you enjoy your favorite activities with less pain and more energy.

Call Your Doctor When...

Although these exercises will help you relieve pain if you have tight or weak muscles, they won't do a bit of good if you have skeletal issues or torn muscles or tendons.

You should absolutely contact your doctor if:

  • your pain increases when you do these exercises.
  • you don't notice decreased pain after two weeks.
  • you notice numbness or tingling.

It's okay to want to try to relieve your pain yourself, but it's also okay to get your doctor's help.