The yoga stick is a useful device that people can use to stretch their entire body. However, I have found it incredibly useful to help open up the shoulders and the back. There are many different sticks out there, but the cheapest option is a wooden stick that can do the job correctly. This amazon link gives one example of a yoga stick device you can use. There are numerous stretches and exercises that you can perform with this stick, so it is well worth the investment to improve the body. The blog will consist of some simple stretches I perform with this device for the shoulder and back, but you can always research more stretches or exercises for the entire body.
12 Minute Athlete’s article “Broomstick Shoulder Stretches” gives videos on some stretches. The first stretch using this device is broomstick leans. It involves you extending the arms straight in front of you, holding the stick at the top with both hands in front of you, and resting the bottom of the stick on the ground. You will then lean forward, tuck the stomach in, and slowly move up and down (only a few cm or inches). You can also do this exercise with only one arm in front of you and alternating with the other arm. I would recommend doing this from anywhere to twenty seconds to a minute. The second stretch is the back and front raise. To begin, start with a wide grip on the stick with the hands on both ends of the stick. With the stick starting in the front of your body, lift this stick up, rotate over the head, and attempt to touch your lower back with the broomstick. As you are doing this, make sure your arms and elbows remain straight. Most people find this hard so it is absolutely okay to not be able to complete this stretch at the full range of motion. However, if this is too easy or you want a better stretch, gradually move your hands a little closer to each other and repeat the process. Completing this for about twenty reps or around a minute should be plenty.
The third stretch is flex and stretch behind your back. First, hold the stick in front of you in both hands with the hands wide apart. Keep your elbows straight and bring the broomstick overhead and back. For this exercise, instead of lowering the stick down, you will hold it around the upper back and bend your elbow back and forth constantly. The back and forth motion should start extended away from your back and flex close to the back of the neck. Doing this for about a minute will suffice. The fourth stretch is figure eight. This one is almost impossible to describe so you should rely on the video. Begin with a wide grip on each end of the stick with your elbow straight at the front of your body. Lift one arm up, bring it overhead, and make sure your arm comes down to the backside of your body. Then using the other arm, repeat that same motion, but make sure your arms end up at the front of your body. Imagine you are drawing a circle with a stick. After doing approximately ten of those in that direction, repeat the same movement but with the opposite arm starting the process first. Again, I would watch the video to ensure you have an understanding of this movement.
The final stretch discussed in the article is the back stretcher. Start by holding the middle of the broomstick with one hand. Lift the stick overhead and behind your back ensuring that your elbows of the arm holding to the middle of the stick remain pointing to the side. With the other arm, grab it with the freehand from the front side of the body and slightly pull down. Using the arm pull the stick down and slowly move it up and down creating this rocking motion for the arm. Another stretch I want to discuss is called the dowel rod back rotation stretch. Rehab My Patient’s video “Dowel rod back rotation stretch” shows you what this stretch should look like. This stretch involves you moving the stick overhead to reach the middle of the back. With your arms bent, rotate your back from each side. Another variation of the stretch is to hold the stick at the shoulders and perform the same back rotation.
As you can see, the yoga stick stretch has a variety of different movements you can do for the body. While I only showed some of my favorite back and shoulder stretches, there is always more you can research if you want to use this yoga stick to its maximum potential. For me, the stick assists in a dramatic reduction of pain and tightness relief making sure my back remains healthy. For something so cheap (assuming you purchase the cheap wooden version), it can have significant benefits that give no reason for you to not try this device. Trust that this device is exceptional and I would recommend purchasing this device to anybody.