3 Mobility Exercises for the Upper Back

If you’ve ever been to a chiropractor or physiotherapist, you’ve probably heard the word “mobility”, or at least, you should have. Mobility is essentially the ability of your joints to move freely and functionally. For a lot of my patients, upper back mobility is something we focus on. Adding super simple mobility exercises to improve the mobility of the upper back can help with so many issues. Issues like neck pain, low back pain, shoulder pain, and upper back pain to name a few.


Here are some of my all-time favourite mobility exercises for the upper back:



  1. Start on all fours with hands underneath shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Throughout the whole movement keep your arms straight with your elbow pits facing forward.
  2. Take a breath in an arch your back. Focus on flexing through each part of your spine, from your neck down to your tailbone.
  3. Let the breath out and drop you belly towards the ground.
  4. Repeat 10 times.

Quad Thoracic Rotation:

  1. Start in the same position as the cat-cow.
  2. Place your right hand behind your head, take a breath in, and bring your right elbow down to the left elbow.
  3. Let your breath out and rotate through your upper back bring your elbow to the sky.
  4. Important: you want your gaze, and thus your head, to follow your elbow the entire movement.
  5. Repeat 10 times on both sides.

Sidelying Thoracic Rotation:

  1. Start on your side. You can use a pillow under your head and one between your legs to make it more comfortable.
  2. Reach forward with whatever hand is on top and begin to draw it back, as if you were drawing back and bow. Ensure that your head follows along.
  3. To increase the difficulty, straighten that arm to the back.
  4. Throughout the whole movement don’t let your lower body rotate with the upper back.
  5. Repeat 10 times on both sides.


And there it is, my go-to upper back mobility exercises! If you try these out, let me know in the comments below. I have to say though, if you are experiencing an injury, it is always best to seek out the help of a licensed healthcare practitioner so you can get a proper assessment.


Here is a full video of me doing the exercises, in case you have any questions.


Disclaimer: All content provided in this article & video is for information/education purposes only and does not form a professional relationship, nor does it take the place of a proper assessment, diagnosis or treatment plan given to you by your medical practitioner or by a licensed healthcare practitioner.