08 Mar Stretching Your Way to Relief in Your Lower Back
With 2020 looming to an end (who says “Yes!”), many of us have experienced the shift from outdoors to indoors, from constant movement to almost being stationary at one of our few outlets to the outside world, our computers. Even if we are not naturally sedentary, it seems that all of us are spending more time sitting than we would have normally. So it’s only too common that back pain can either appear or resurface with this change in our routines. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported in one study that low back pain is “the most common type of pain reported by patients.” Stretches are proven to reduce muscle tension and thus promote muscle elasticity to boost joint range of motion and flexibility.
Stretching should focus on the entire lower body, not just the lower back. When you also work the muscle groups that include the glutes, hips, and hamstrings, you are helping your body to strengthen the range of motion in these areas. These in turn will support movements that at times we incorrectly use our back for. For example, The glutes help stabilize your pelvis. The gluteus maximus is also a powerful muscle that can be isolated and used to squat down and pick up heavy objects, rather than performing these tasks with our back.
BFW wants to do more than just get you up on your feet dancing and moving. We want you to improve your overall lifestyle. Below we are sharing some practical solutions to alleviate back pain with five stretching exercises.
Knee to Chest Glute Stretch
- Lay with your back on the floor with legs outstretched.
- Pull one knee toward your chest.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds
- Switch legs
- Get into a sitting position on the floor.
- Straighten your right leg.
- Cross your left leg over it.
- Twist your body to the left until you feel a slight pull on your piriformis.
- Hold this position for just a few seconds, and gradually increase time to 30 seconds.
- Then switch sides.
- Take a seated position on the floor.
- Extend one leg straight.
- Position the foot of your opposite leg resting against your upper thigh.
- Keeping your back straight, reach toward your ankle or foot.
- Hold for 30-60 seconds.
- Switch sides.
- Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Have your arms out to the side.
- Twist your body, dropping your knees first to the right.
- Stop when you feel a stretch in your lower back, and hold for 15 seconds.
- Twist to the left and repeat.
- Continue this back-and-forth movement for 1-2 minutes.
- Start on all fours, facing the floor, with your back straight.
- As you take a breath in, drop your belly toward the floor, rounding your spine into a “u” shape for cow position.
- Slowly breath in, drawing in your stomach and arching your spine into a “n” shape for cat position.
- Gently switch between the two positions about 10 times.