Erector Spinae Stretch

Erector Spinae Stretch

Erector Spinae

The Erector Spinae muscles run all the way up each side of the spine from the base of the sacrum to a portion of the muscles attaching at the base on each side of the skull. The fibres are divided further into three sets; Iliocostalis, longissimus & spinalis. Tension or pain within any of these muscle fibres can cause restriction of movement of the spine and contributes to ‘knots’ within the back and severe back pain.

Erector Spinae StretchStretching

Option 1 ~ ‘The Forward Bend’. Standing, (perform all of these movements in a relaxed way. There is no need to over-reach or force this stretch initially) beginning with the head, let it flex forward at the neck, round the shoulders forward and flex ‘curve’ the spine and flex forward at the hips. Keeping the knees ‘locked out’ let the body drape forward into a forward bend and just relax towards your toes, letting your spine open and stretch naturally. To increase the intensity of the stretch, reach for your toes or try to place your hands upon the floor.


Pose of a Cat Erector Spinae StretchOption 2 ~ Resting on knees and hands, perform the ‘cat stretch’ yoga pose by arching your back.



Erector Spinae Stretch


Option 3 ~ Laying on your back, bring your body into a shoulder stand and (only when you are ready) bring your thighs over the top of your head to flex the spine into a stretch. For safety and to make the stretch easier to begin with you should position your head near a wall so that gravity does not take you too far into the stretch when you first take your legs over your head.


Origin ~

  • The broad tendon from the iliac crest, the posterior surface of the sacrum and the lumbar spines.

Insertion ~

  • Angle of the ribs, cervical processes and all the way up to the mastoid process.

Actions ~

  • Eccentric stabilization of the spine during trunk flexion.
  • Extension of the vertebral column and head (bilaterally).
  • Lateral flexion of the spine (unilaterally).