How to Crack Your Upper Back

Four Methods:Crack Your Own BackCrack Your Back With a Medicine BallHave Someone Else Crack Your BackOther Ways to Crack Your Back

Cracking your back is quite simple. You may crack it by yourself naturally, with props or have a friend do it for you. Repeated cracking may make adjustments at the chiropractor much easier, and can help with back pain.

Method 1
Crack Your Own Back

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    Place your hands behind your back, one on top of another. Press on your spine as high up as your hands will reach. Stretch backward, leaving your hands pressing on your spine, and you should get some satisfying pops.
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    Sit in a chair with a short back. Slide your butt toward the edge of the seat until the chair back touches the part of your back you wish to crack. Place your palms on your forehead and exhale slowly. Your head and shoulders will sink down behind the chair and should offer you a few good cracks.
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    Stand up straight with a wall corner in the center of your back. Bring your arms backward by squeezing your shoulder blades. This gentle stretch can help crack your back naturally.
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    Laying on a hard flat surface, bring your knees to your chest. Grab your feet with your hands. Tuck your chin to your chest and use your feet to push against as if you're trying to arch your back to touch the opposite wall. Turn onto other side and repeat.

Method 2
Crack Your Back With a Medicine Ball

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    Crack your middle back. Sit on the exercise ball. Slowly walk your feet out and lower yourself onto the exercise ball so that your back is resting over it. Allow yourself to completely relax. Slowly move forward and back, so the ball rests over different parts of your back.
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    Crack your upper back. Kneel in front of the exercise ball. Slowly roll the ball forwards, leaning forward as the ball moves away from you. Once you've fully stretched out, allow your upper and middle back to relax and sag for a bit.
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    Crack your lower back. Lay your chest and abdomen on top of the medicine ball. Slowly roll forward so that your toes touch the ground, but your knees do not. Allow your arms to hang loosely around the ball and relax the muscles in your back.

Method 3
Have Someone Else Crack Your Back

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    Lay down on a firm surface like a floor. Have your arms at your sides, elbows bent and hands on either side of your head. The head should be to one side.
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    If you're feeling tense, ask your friend to give you a quick rub down to relax you.
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    Have them put their hands on either side of your spine. Their fingers should point toward the sides of the body. There will be about 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) between the base of their palms.
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    Exhale as they gently push down and forward at the same time. Their hands will always be touching your back and will not slide up the back either.
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    Have them start in the middle of the back and work upward, little by little. They should eventually find a spot that will produce a few good cracks.

Method 4
Other Ways to Crack Your Back

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    Do the leg-over-leg back stretch. Sit down on a mat with your back straight and your legs flat on the ground. Bring your right leg gently up and, keeping it bent, rest it over the left leg. Your left leg should be flat on the ground, and the right leg should have only the foot resting on the ground, near the left hip.
    • Bring your left arm across your body and wedge it on the right side of your right leg. You should feel the tension already. Using your left arm to push off of your right knee, twist your spinal chord gently back and to the right.
    • Once you have felt a pop, release the pose, loosen out some of the tension, and repeat, using the opposite leg.
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    Do the lift-from-behind stretch. This stretch requires two people. Have the person who needs their back cracked cross their arms over their chest so that each hand is resting on the opposite shoulder. Get a friend behind you to grab your elbows, pick you up slightly off the ground, and lean back.
    • You should feel several cracks using this method. Make sure the other person is strong enough to lift you up, and that the act of lifting doesn't cause the other person to fall backward.
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    Stretch using your bed. Lie down on the bottom of a bed, with everything above your shoulder blades hanging off the edge of the bed. Relax and slowly let your upper back and arms sink towards the floor. After you've fully stretched downward, do a full sit-up to bend your spine in the opposite direction, going back downward, sliding your shoulder blades farther and farther off the edge of the bed each time.
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    Do the rocking stretch. This is a Pilates stretch used to loosen the muscles in the spinal column. Lie down on a mat and bring both knees to your chest, hugging them with your hands. Slowly rock forward and backward on the mat, building momentum as you go. Aim to feel each piece of your spine on the mat as you rock back and forth.
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    Do the floor crack. Lay down face-up on some hard flooring (not carpet), with your arms stretched out. With your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees about 45 degrees, or enough to rotate your hips so that your lower spine is flat against the floor. You're trying to get your entire spine aligned with the floor. Put your hands on the back of your head and push your head forward (so your chin goes in the direction of your chest.) Press firmly but it shouldn't hurt; if it hurts stop or apply less pressure. Your vertebrae should pop gently in one to three places between your shoulder blades with very little pressure. It feels fantastic.


  • If you're feeling tense or your back is out of alignment, you may not get a crack right away or at all.
  • Try to keep your back straight while sitting and standing. Good posture can help prevent back pain.
  • Be careful you don't injure your back.
  • You can also sit in the bathtub and push backward.


  • If you are experiencing pain, stop immediately. Always pay attention to what your body is telling you.
  • Begin gently. Different people require different levels of pressure to get their back to crack.

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