It’s not unusual to experience lower back pain. In fact, it’s one of the most common pains experienced by people with sedentary lifestyles. At the same time, lower back pain can also occur due to various health conditions, so it’s always important to visit a doctor before determining the exact cause. This is also important before looking into exercises to safely stretch the lower back exercises that will improve your life.
A good stretch can be a great way to relieve the uncomfortable feeling and will help you go on with your usual activities without any type of disturbance. Below, you will see exactly how to stretch your lower back safely so that you don’t experience any issues and make matters worse.
You may have seen this type of stretch before, as it’s one of the more common ones that help with lower back pain. When performing it, the pain and tension in your lower back will decrease and you will instantly feel it.
To do this stretch, you have to lie on your back and have your knees bent, while your feet are flat on your floor. Grab hold of your right lower leg with both of your hands, and either clasp the wrists or interlace the fingers under your knee. Then, pull the right knee up to your chest while the left foot is still flat on your floor.
Keep your knee against your chest between 30 and 60 seconds. Don’t forget to also relax your hips, legs, and lower back. Once the time passes, let go of the right knee and get back to your initial position. Do the same thing, but this time with your left leg. Do this exercise three times with each leg.
If you want to increase the difficulty for the stretch, then bring both of your knees to your chest for about 15-20 seconds. Rest 30 seconds in-between 3 sets. Only stretch both legs at the same time if you don’t feel any discomfort in the lower back area.
2. Child’s Pose
This stretch is quite popular as it’s a traditional one. It’s basically a yoga pose that helps you get rid of tension and pain along the neck, back, and shoulders. If you have tight lower back muscles, you can rest assured that this stretch will help you loosen up.
In order to perform this stretch, you have to be on the floor with your knees and hands. Then, you have to sink back through the hips to allow them to rest on your heels. Fold forward and hinge at your hips at the same time, while the hands will be led towards the area in front of you.
Your belly has to sit on your thighs. Next, extend your arms either alongside your body or in front of you, while your palms are facing upwards. While doing this pose, take deep breaths and allow all areas of tension to relax. Stay in this pose for around one minute.
It is also amazing if you could do this stretch a few times during your routine. It can work as a pose you make in-between every other stretch.
Child pose helps you get rid of tension and pain along the neck, back, and shoulders.
3. Reclining Hand-to-Big Toe Stretch
This is another pose that you can rely on when you have tense muscles. It will help loosen them up and you’ll feel more relieved as a result.
You can do this pose by lying on your back while lifting your right leg towards your face. In the meantime, make your hands interlace behind your calf or thigh depending on the tightness of the inner thighs. The other leg should be active and the opposite hip on the ground. Keep your shoulders and head on the ground and hold this pose for around 10 breaths.
While the opposite hip is still grounded, allow the right leg to go lower, towards the right. Make sure you are lowering your leg to the side only for as much as you can. Do this while making sure the opposite hip doesn’t get lifted.
4. Trunk Rotation
You might still be wondering how stretch lower back exercises can help you. Well, let us tell you that the trunk rotation is one of those exercises that will do wonders. It can not only get rid of the pain and tension from your lower back but will also make sure you work on your core muscles. This includes your back and abdominal muscles, as well as the muscles around your pelvis. Again only perform this stretch if you don’t feel any serious pain (not the pain from stretching your muscles).
Performing the trunk rotation can be done by following a few steps. The first thing you have to do is lie down on your back, and then bring your knees up towards your chest. Do it until your body is just like it would be when sitting in a chair. Then, extend both arms out to the sides, while the palms are facing down on the ground. Keep that position with the hands and knees together, and at the same time, roll both bent knees over to the right side. Hold this position for about 15-20 seconds.
Now, go back to your initial position and do the same thing for the left side. Repeat this exercise between 5 and 10 times for each side.
5. Seated Spinal Twist
If you’re still wondering how stretch lower back exercises should be organized, you best add the seated spinal twist move into the schedule as well. This is a great exercise for people with lower back pain, and aside from working the back to relieve the pain, it will also help work your glutes and hips. Furthermore, mobility in your back, neck, shoulders, and abdominals will be increased as well.
Start by grabbing a cushion and sitting on its edge, while you extend both of your legs out in front. Then, start bending the right knee, and put the foot to the outside of the left thigh. As for the left leg, bend it and place the foot near the right thigh.
Now, you should lift your arms and make sure the palms are facing each other, and then start twisting to the right side at the base of the spine. The right hand should go behind you to support you.
Then, use your left arm by putting it around your right leg, similar to hugging it, or bring the upper arm to the thigh’s outside. Stay in this pose for up to one minute, after which you have to do the same for the other side.
6. Cow-Face Pose
This may sound like a weird type of pose, but you’ll love how effective it is at relieving lower back pain. Tight outer glutes may be the cause of your pain. With the cow-face pose, your glutes will be stretched, and thus your pain will go away.
For this pose, you have to sit down and take your left heel toward the right glute. The left knee has to be pointing in front of you, so make sure you keep this in mind. The next step is to bring the right leg on top of the left one while stacking your knees together. Both of them have to face straight in front of you. Don’t worry, though – they don’t have to be exactly one on top of the other.
As for your feet, you should have them on either side, while the toes are pointing behind. Sit up tall to keep the spine long, or slightly bent forward. The latter will add more intensity.
7. Cat/Cow Stretch
This exercise is amazing and not too difficult. In fact, it can build on the Child’s Pose, so it shouldn’t be a nuisance.
The first thing you have to do is take a tabletop position with the knees and hands. Your hands have to go under your shoulders, whereas the knees will go under your hips. At the same time, your back should stay parallel to the ground when you’re in this position.
Then, start rounding your back, by pretty much stretching the middle back between your shoulder blades. Think of the way a cat is arching its back when stretching – you should do the same thing. Keep that position for about 5 seconds. Then, let it go and relax, while allowing the stomach to fall downward while letting the low back arch gently. Hold this other position for 5 seconds as well. These movements should be repeated for 30 seconds on average, but you can go for much longer if you want.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to how stretch lower back exercises help you, it all depends on the types of exercises you’re performing. If you know how to perform them safely, then they will be very effective in relieving both tension and pain and improving your condition. Try the above stretches, see which ones are best for you and low back pain will soon become a thing of the past.
Co-founder of MB Zen, digital nomad and freedom seeker. Loves developing projects that improve people’s lives. Functional training, yoga, and healthy eating define his lifestyle since he got his back injured. Fell in love with Yin yoga from the very first session though he won’t say no to any other kind of yoga.