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Many different chiropractic exercises can be done at home, and it is crucial to find the ones that work best for you.
To help you get started, here are 25 simple stretches and chiropractic exercises at home for you to try.
These at-home exercises can help with pain and discomfort and are a great way to improve your overall spinal health.
So why not give them a try?
Table of Contents
How Chiropractic Exercises Help Improve Spinal Health
Chiropractic exercises help to improve range of motion, flexibility, and strength in the low to mid back or other target spine area.
On top of that, they also help to promote better posture and alignment.
One of the benefits of chiropractic exercises is that they can help to keep the body pain-free.
They can also help to improve circulation and reduce inflammation and prevent future injuries to the spine.
25 Chiropractic Stretches and Exercises
The following stretches and movements are some of the best exercises for at home.
Below is a YouTube playlist with a video walkthrough for each exercise.
1. Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow stretch is a yoga move that helps to warm up your spine and increase flexibility and range of motion.
It’s also said to be helpful for relieving back pain.
- To do the cat-cow stretch, you’ll need to start on all fours on the floor. Hands shoulder width apart.
- Then, arch your back up like a cat, making sure to keep your head and neck in line with your spine. Hold for a few seconds.
- Then tuck your chin and round your back like a cow.
2. McKenzie Prone Press-up
The McKenzie Prone Press-up is a variation of the traditional press-up that is specifically designed to target the abdominal muscles and alleviate lower back pain.
This exercise is named after physical therapist Robin McKenzie, who developed it as a treatment for patients with back pain.
- The McKenzie Prone Press-up is performed by lying flat on the floor, facing down.
- Keep your legs against the floor and press up until your elbows are slightly bent and your torso is elevated.
- From there, you lower your body back down to the ground, making sure to keep your elbows close to your sides.
- Perform for 5-10 reps
3. Seated Glute (Piriformis) Stretch
This Glute Stretch is used to target the piriformis muscle.
This muscle is located in the gluteal region and can often become tight due to overuse or incorrect posture.
When this muscle is tight, it can cause pain in the buttocks and hip region.
This Stretch can help to relieve this pain by lengthening the muscle.
- To perform the Piriformis Stretch, begin by sitting on a chair.
- Place your right ankle on your left knee.
- Use your right hand to gently press down on your right knee to deepen the stretch.
- From here, engage your core and lean your upper body over your legs.
- Hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
4. Pelvic Tilt
The pelvic tilt is a simple way to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
This makes it an especially good exercise to fix lower back pain.
- To do it, lie flat on your back on the floor, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
- Place your hands on your abdomen, and use your abdominal muscles to pull your belly button toward your spine.
- Hold for five seconds, then release. Repeat 10 times.
5. Prayer Stretch
The prayer stretch is a yoga pose that helps you open your chest, shoulders, and back.
It’s named for the prayer position that it resembles.
To do the prayer stretch:
- Start by sitting with your buttocks over your heels.
- Raise your arms in front of you.
- Slowly lean forward from the waist, keeping your head and body straight.
- Place your palms on the floor in front of you, fingers pointing forward.
- Hold it here until you get a good stretch.
- Use your arms to push your body back up to the starting position.
- Repeat this several times.
6. Lying Glute Stretch
The lying glute stretch is a stretch that helps to lengthen the glutes.
- For this one start flat on your back and bring your left foot over your right leg.
- Then lift your legs and grab behind the right knee with both hands.
- Pull towards your chest until you feel a gentle stretch.
- Stretch for up to 30 seconds and switch sides.
7. Supine Bridge
The supine bridge is an exercise that works the glutes, hamstrings, and abdominals.
It can be done with or without weight.
- To do it, start flat on your back with your feet on the ground, your legs bent, and your hands by your sides.
- Drive your heels into the ground, and lift your torso and upper legs into the air.
- Extend your hips until your thighs and torso are in line with each other
- Hold for two seconds. Reverse the motion, and repeat.
8. Bird Dog
This exercise is a simple, but effective, core workout.
It targets the abdominal muscles, as well as the glutes and hamstrings.
If you have pain in the lower back be sure to try this one!
- To do this exercise, start on all fours, with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips.
- Extend one arm and one leg out straight, hold for a few seconds, and then return to start.
- Repeat with the other arm and leg.
9. Lateral Neck Tilt
The lateral neck tilt is a position of the neck in which the head is tilted to one side.
This position can be used to improve the range of motion and relieve neck pain.
How is the lateral neck tilt performed?
- You will need to start by sitting or standing in a comfortable position.
- Next, slowly tilt your head to one side until you feel a stretch in the side of your neck.
- Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
10. Posterior Shoulder Roll
The posterior shoulder roll is a yoga exercise that helps to reduce strain on the neck and shoulders.
This exercise can be performed sitting or standing and is a great way to release tension from the upper body.
- To perform the posterior shoulder roll, start with your body straight and your shoulders relaxed.
- From here, slowly roll your shoulder blades back and down, then rotate them in a circular motion.
- Repeat the movement for 30-60 seconds.
11. Arm Prayer Stretch
The arm prayer stretch is a simple exercise that can help with carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand and arm problems.
- It involves extending the hands and arms out in front of you, then holding the hands together as if you were praying.
- Flair your elbows out and slowly lower your hands while pressing them together.
- Once the stretch is complete, move your hands back up before pulling them apart.
- You can hold this position for a few seconds, or work up to a minute. repeat 3-5 times.
- This stretch also works the shoulders and forearms.
12. Psoas Chair Stretch
Sitting all day is bad for your back and can lead to tightness in the hip muscles, specifically the psoas.
The Psoas chair stretch is a great way to counteract the negative effects of sitting all day.
It’s simple to do and only takes a few minutes.
With it, you will loosen up tight hips and improve spine stability.
You can even do it without a chair if you prefer.
How to do the Psoas Chair Stretch:
- Start by standing in front of a chair.
- Put your left leg on the chair.
- Tilt your pelvis slightly inwards and then contract your glute muscles.
- Then lean your body forward until your right hip is stretched.
- Maintain the stretched position for up to 1 minute before switching to the left side.
13. Prone TYI Exercise
The Prone TYI Exercise is a great way to improve your shoulder strength and stability.
This exercise can also be used to improve your posture.
- Perform this exercise by lying face down on the floor.
- Have your palms facing down by your sides with your arms straightened.
- You then raise your arms off the ground by retracting your shoulder blades.
- Hold the position and then repeat.
- Be sure to keep your stomach and head rested on the floor during this entire movement.
14. Upper Trapezius Stretch
The Upper Trapezius Stretch targets the upper trap muscles.
Stretching these muscles will help mitigate tightness in the neck and shoulders.
- To perform the stretch, sit with your feet hip-width apart.
- Then hold onto the edge of the chair or table with your left hand.
- Slightly lean your body away from your left hand.
- While looking straight forward, tilt your head sideways towards the right shoulder.
- Hold for 30 seconds and switch.
15. Scalene Stretch
The scalene stretch helps to open up the chest and neck.
It is a great pose to do if you are feeling congested or have tension in the neck muscle.
- To do the scalene stretch, you will need to sit or stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Reach your right arm out and hold onto something secure.
- Look upwards and bend your head sideways towards the left.
- Once the stretch is complete, release and switch sides.
16. Pec Stretch
The Pec or chest Stretch will help open up the chest muscles and alleviate shoulder pain.
- This stretch can be performed either standing or seated.
- Extend your hands behind your back and clasp them together.
- Push them downwards and outwards while simultaneously sticking your chest forward.
- Maintain this position for roughly 30 seconds then release.
17. Lumbar Rotation
The Lumbar Rotation Stretch targets the lumbar spine and glutes.
It helps to improve flexibility and range of motion in these areas.
- It is performed by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet facedown on the ground.
- Then, slowly straighten the left leg.
- Lift your right knee and grasp it with your left arm.
- Begin to rotate the right knee sideways and over the left.
- Reach straight out with your right hand while looking in that same direction.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds before switching sides.
18. Seated Spinal Twist
The seated spinal twist helps to improve spinal flexibility and range of motion.
It also helps to massage the internal organs, improving digestion.
How to do the Seated Spinal Twist:
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your right leg and place your foot flat on the floor near your left hip.
- Place your right hand on the floor behind you.
- With your left hand, take hold of your right knee and pull it across your body towards the left.
- Look over your right shoulder as you do this for a deeper twist.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the opposite side.
The Spinal Twist also:
- Stretches the muscles and ligaments around the spine.
- Relieves tension headaches and back pain.
19. Knee to Chest
The knee-to-chest exercise is a lower body movement that primarily targets the glutes, hamstrings, and SI joint.
- To begin you will first want to lie down on your back.
- Next, pull one knee up to your chest and extend the other leg out and hold this position throughout.
- Now, slowly move your knee away from your chest with light effort, while holding the bottom of your knee with your hands.
- As you do this, take deep breaths in and as you push your knee out, breathe out.
- Push for 5 seconds and switch legs.
20. Corner Stretch
The corner stretch helps open up the chest and shoulders to improve upright posture.
How to do the corner stretch:
- Stand in a corner or doorway with your elbows at shoulder height and your palms flat against the walls.
- Step forward with the right foot, keeping your heel on the ground and your toes pointing forward.
- Lean forward until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders.
- Hold it here for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
21. Shoulder Shrugs
The shoulder shrug is a weight training exercise in which the shoulders are raised as high as possible and then lowered to the original position.
It is mainly used to build the trapezius muscle.
The exercise can also be performed using bodyweight or resistance bands.
The trap is a three-headed muscle that runs from the base of the neck to the middle of the back.
It is responsible for moving, stabilizing, and supporting the shoulder girdle.
- Start the exercise by inhaling and raising your shoulders as high as possible. If you are using resistance bands, loop the band around your wrists and anchor it under your feet.
- Hold the contraction at the top for a count of one before slowly releasing your shoulders back down to the starting position. Breathe out during this phase.
- Make sure to keep your head and neck in a neutral position throughout the exercise.
- Do not roll your shoulders forward or backward.
- Also, avoid arching your lower back as this can put unnecessary stress on your spine.
22. McKenzie Neck Flexion
The McKenzie Flexion is one of the neck exercises that helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles surrounding your cervical spine.
It can also improve flexibility and range of motion and can help alleviate pain and tension.
- To do the McKenzie Neck Flexion, simply sit up straight in a chair.
- Slowly lower your chin towards your chest.
- There should be a nice stretch in your neck and shoulder muscles.
- You can even deepen the stretch by holding your hands on the back of your head.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds and then slowly raise your head back to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise several times per day.
If you suffer from neck pain or stiffness, this stretch can help to provide relief.
This is also beneficial for those who experience headaches or migraines, as it can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of these episodes.
23. Double Leg Lifts
Double leg lifts are a type of abdominal exercise that works the muscles in your abdomen and hips.
- The exercise is performed by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Tuck your hands under your buttocks.
- You then raise both legs straight above your waistline.
- Then slowly bring them downwards until they are slightly elevated above the floor. Make sure to keep them straight.
- Raise them again.
- Repeat this motion for 10-20 reps.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your double leg lift workout:
1. Make sure to tighten your abdominal muscles throughout the entire exercise.
This will help to target those muscles and ensure that you are getting the most out of the exercise.
2. Take your time when performing the exercise. There is no need to rush through the motions. Focus on quality over quantity.
3. If you are having trouble keeping your balance, try placing your hands on your hips or holding onto a nearby piece of furniture for support.
24. Partial Sit-ups
A partial sit-up is a variation of the traditional sit-up that is performed by only partially lifting the torso off the ground.
This exercise can be used to target the abdominal muscles more specifically than a traditional sit-up.
How to do a partial sit-up:
- Lie on your back on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands behind your head or crossed over your chest.
- Use your abs to lift your upper body off the ground, only going up as far as you can while still keeping your lower back pressed firmly into the ground.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for 15-30 repetitions.
25. Standing Hamstring Curl
The standing hamstring curl is a weight training exercise that primarily works the hamstrings, but also recruits the glutes and spinal erectors.
It is a single-joint exercise that requires balance and stabilization.
The standing hamstring curl can also be performed with body weight alone.
- The feet are hip-width apart with the toes pointing straight ahead.
- You can stand facing a wall or chair for balance.
- While keeping your thighs in a secure downward position, lift one heel backward towards your butt.
- Squeeze at the top for 1-3 seconds, then gently lower back down.
- Repeat with the left leg 10-20 times.
- Switch legs.
How Often Should You Do These Exercises?
Ideally, you should incorporate these into your daily exercise routine.
However, if that’s not possible, aim to do them at least three times a week.
Start by doing them slowly and then increase the speed and intensity as your muscles get used to the movements.
If you are doing them correctly, you should feel a slight burning sensation in your muscles after a few repetitions.
This is normal and means that the exercises are working.
However, if you feel pain, stop immediately and consult your chiropractor.
FAQs About Chiropractic Care
Can You Perform Chiropractic on Yourself?
Yes, you can perform chiropractic care on yourself by using various techniques such as spinal manipulation, massage, and mobilization.
It is important to consult with a chiropractor to learn the correct techniques and how to best perform them on yourself.
Do Chiropractors Give Exercises?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the exercises that a chiropractor may prescribe will vary depending on the individual’s specific condition.
However, some general exercises that a chiropractor may recommend include at-home stretches and strengthening exercises.
These exercises help to improve the range of motion, flexibility, and strength, in the human body which can ultimately lead to pain relief.
How Can I Adjust My Spine by Myself?
There are a few ways that you can adjust your spine by yourself.
One way is to use a tennis ball.
Place the tennis ball under your back and gently roll it around to relieve tension.
You can also use a foam roller to massage your back.
Place the roller on the floor and lie on top of it, letting it sink into your spine. Gently move up and down to massage the area.