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For a Belly or Back Stretch, Try the Elbow Press

The elbow press is a type of stretching exercise that bends the back backward, in an extension. To do an elbow press:

  • Lie on your stomach on an exercise mat or the floor. Place your hands by your sides and put them under your shoulders with hands facing forward. Keep the tops of your feet flat against the floor and slightly apart. Point your toes away from your body.

  • Take a few deep breaths to help you relax and feel comfortable.

  • Keeping your forearms and elbows close to your sides, press yourself up onto your forearms. Keep your elbows bent and your forearms and hands on the floor.

  • Press your chest, neck, and head up while your buttocks, belly, and hips remain on the floor, relaxed. This position will arch your low back and stretch muscles in the chest and stomach area. Hold this position for at least  15 to 30  seconds.

  • Lower your upper body slowly back to the floor. 

  • Repeat this exercise  2 or 3 times. 

  • If you feel any pain in the lower back, stop the exercise and talk with your healthcare provider. 

Woman lying on stomach with torso raised and arms bent with palms on floor.