The Ten Best Lower Back Stretches
With such a sedentary lifestyle, it’s no wonder that so many of us routinely suffer from lower back pain. The great news is that there are several simple stretches you can do in the comfort of your own home to relieve tension, reduce pain, and build strength.
Routinely incorporating these stretch exercises for lower back will often provide a level of instant relief, loosening tense, overworked muscles. Some of these stretches will help you reset the joints in your lower back, restoring your natural alignment, too. Remember not to force any of these positions to the point of discomfort. Instead, ease into them, going a little bit deeper as you breathe in each position.
Child's pose is a great way to release several muscles around the lower back, including your gluteus maximus and hamstrings. The pose itself is quite relaxing, and it's great for improving flexibility, too. Yoga classes often return to this pose because it's a great way to reset from other postures, so revisit it as often as you like.
- Place your hands and knees on the floor with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Sit your hips back towards your heels.
- Extend your arms in front of you, palms on the floor, or bring your arms down by your sides.
For a more intense stretch, rest your belly on your thighs. For a gentler release, move your knees away from each other and sink your stomach towards the floor.
Resting on your belly in sphinx pose is a great way to release that spot where lower back pain usually seems to settle. This is a gentle backbend that is great for strengthening those back and core muscles that help support your spine in a shape that also encourages decompression of this area.
- Lie down on your belly.
- Place your forearms on the ground, keeping your elbows under your shoulders.
- Lift your head and chest, keeping the neck in line with the spine.
- Look forward to the ground just in front of you.
You can hold this position for about 1-3 minutes. If you want a deeper stretch, move into seal pose by keeping your hands in the same place and straightening your elbows, creating a deeper backbend.
Supine Figure 4
Everything’s connected, so it’s no surprise that tight hips (courtesy of all of the sitting that we do) can also contribute to low back pain. This stretch gently opens the hips while stretching the piriformis, glutes, and lower back, making it very effective at relieving tension in the muscles around the sacrum. The sacrum is the central component of your low back, where most of us feel the most compression at the base of our spine.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent, and feet placed flat on the floor.
- Leave your right foot flat on the floor while crossing your left ankle over to the top of your right knee.
- For a more intense stretch, bring your right knee to your chest, lifting your right foot away from the floor. Clasp your hands behind your right thigh or around your shin to pull it towards you.
- At the same time, work to push your left knee away from you so that you feel the stretch along the outside of your left thigh.
Make sure that your low back and your neck remain on the ground. Lifting them up for this posture will strain your spine and reduce its effectiveness. Hold on each side for 30 seconds-1 minute.
You can also turn this posture into a twist to lengthen and strengthen your obliques. Just extend your arms out wide from your shoulders and lower your right knee and the crossed left ankle towards the floor. Place your left foot flat on the floor if you can. Do the same thing on the other side.
This is often called wind-relieving pose in yoga classes. It's a great way to relax those tight muscles in your hips, thighs, and glutes.
- Lie down on your back, and hug your knees into your chest.
- Keep your left knee tucked into your chest and extend your right leg straight in front of you. If this is too intense, bend your right leg at the knee and place your foot flat on the floor.
- You can hold your shin or clasp your hands behind your thigh.
Keep your back (including your tailbone) flat on the ground. Hold the pose for 1-3 minutes and then repeat on the other side.
This is a small movement that can have a significant impact on your lower back. Since it is so gentle, it's a great way to bring soft motion to this area if you're feeling discomfort here. This stretch also requires that you activate your core and promote stability to prevent future pain.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent, and your feet placed flat on the floor.
- Begin by relaxing your back in a neutral position. The curve in your lower back will leave just about enough space for your hand to go between your lower back and the floor.
- Use your core muscles to press your low back to the floor by tilting your pelvis slightly upward.
Go back and forth between these two positions about 12-15 times and notice the difference that it makes. You can also do pelvic tilts while seated at your desk. Just gently tilt your pelvis forward and back in your chair.
This is a simple exercise that you can do anywhere and works well for lower back stretches. The cat's back exercise can help relieve lower back pain.
- Take a sitting position with your hands on your knees, your back straight.
- While inhaling, pull the chest forward. Try to connect your shoulder blades and straighten your shoulders as much as possible. We stretch the top of the head up.
- As you exhale, try to round your back as much as possible, pulling your shoulders forward. We stretch with the crown of the head to the knees.
You should repeat this exercise 8-10 times.
The rope exercise is great to warm up at work during breaks. Regular repetition of the training will help lower back stretches and relieve low back pain and help in the stomach and intestines’ functioning.
- We accept a sitting position on a chair. The back of the chair should be at your side.
- We take a breath, as we exhale, we turn our shoulders to the back of the chair. Try to keep your torso fixed; only the lower back muscles are working.
- We hold our hands behind the back of the chair and remain in this position for 30 seconds. You must take five deep breaths in and out. Then change position.
The rope exercise should be repeated three times on each side.
Ballerina exercise is an easy way to lower back stretches and stretch the body at all. Regular repetition of this exercise accelerates the blood after a long sitting position and stretches the lateral muscles, lower back, and chest muscles.
- Take a sitting position with your back straight. Grasp the seat of the chair with one hand and relax your shoulder.
- Raise your other hand up and start bending to the side. Feel the lateral muscles stretch.
- Make sure that the body does not lean forward or backward.
You should repeat this exercise 10 times on each side.
The bird exercise is ideal for lower back stretches after your workout, thigh muscles, and relieving leg fatigue. You need a chair with a backrest for this exercise. Besides, you can do this exercise anywhere.
- Get into a sitting position with your back straight. Place your right ankle on your left thigh.
- Begin to stretch the body forward; try to feel how the chest opens. You need to try to reach your belly to your thigh.
- Keep your back straight. At the maximum incline, hold this position for about 30 seconds and take five deep breaths and exhalations. Then change your leg.
You should repeat this exercise 2-3 times for each leg.
Butterfly wings are a simple exercise that requires a chair. You can repeat this exercise anywhere. It is excellent for lower back stretches. Moreover, butterfly wings help restore the spine’s correct position, cervical vertebrae, and improve blood flow.
- Take a sitting position on a chair with your back straight. Put your feet shoulder-width apart; feet should fully touch the floor.
- We throw our bent arms at the elbows behind the head; fingers should be clasped at the back of the head. Spread your elbows as wide as possible. As we inhale, we open our arms and pull the chest forward.
- On an exhalation, we return to the starting position and arch our back. We stretch the chest back. Try to focus on the sensations; you should feel the muscles stretch.
Repeat the butterfly wings exercise 5 times, and you will feel much better.
Performing these exercises regularly will help eliminate discomfort, muscle tightness, and help restore correct posture. Remember that it is easier to do simple exercises every day than to kickstart your health.
Try these simple stretches to find quick relief for your lower back. Move slowly and gently, spending time in each of these stretches to decompress the lower part of your spine. Properly performing these stretches will also make you aware of how your spine works with the rest of your body so that you can work towards keeping it healthy, strong, and pain-free!