7 lower back stretches to relieve the lower back and strengthen them

Lower back pain is a fairly common health problem, as many factors can cause it. In some cases, it may be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as kidney stones or acute pancreatitis. Other times, it is simply a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive movements. While stretching isn’t a cure for all lower back pain, it can, in many cases, provide relief. If you live with mild discomfort or stiffness, these seven stretches can help reduce pain and strengthen your lower back muscles.

First, some quick tips before stretching

Stretch your lower back safely and carefully. Be especially gentle and careful if you have any injury or health problem. It is best to consult your doctor before beginning any new type of exercise. You can do these stretches once or twice a day. But if the pain seems to be getting worse or you are very sore, take a day off. Be aware of your body’s limits and don’t push your body to do too much. Listen to your body and do what is best for you in each moment. As you perform these stretches, take your time and pay attention to your breathing. Use your breathing as a guide to make sure you’re not straining or overdoing it. You should be able to breathe comfortably and smoothly throughout each pose or stretch.

1. Child’s Pose

This traditional yoga pose gently stretches the gluteus maximus, thigh muscles, and spinal extensors. It relieves pain and tension along the spine, neck and shoulders. Its relaxing effect on your body also helps loosen tight lower back muscles, promoting flexibility and blood circulation along the spine.

To do Child’s Pose, follow these steps:

With your hands and knees on the floor, pull your hips back so they rest on your heels.
Rock your hips as you lean forward, placing your hands in front of you.
Rest your stomach on your thighs.
Stretch your arms out in front or along your body, palms up.
Breathe deeply and relax any areas of tension or tension.
Hold this pose for up to one minute.
You can do this pose several times during your stretching routine. Feel free to do it between each of the other stretches you do.

Amendments

If you feel you need extra support, you can place a rolled up towel on or under your thighs. If it’s more comfortable, widen your knees and rest your forehead on a pillow.

2. Knee to chest stretch

This stretch relaxes your hips, thighs, and glutes while promoting general relaxation.

To do a knee-to-chest stretch, follow these steps:

Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Keep your left knee bent or straighten it toward the floor.
Bring your right knee toward your chest, placing your hands behind your thigh or on top of your shin.
Lengthen your spine to the tailbone and avoid lifting your hips.
Breathe deeply, releasing any tension.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Amendments

Place a pillow under your head for extra padding. You can also wrap a towel around your leg if it’s hard for your arms to reach. To deepen the stretch, tuck your chin into your chest and raise your head toward your knee.

3. Stretching the piriformis muscle

This stretch works the piriformis muscle, which is found at the bottom of the buttocks. Stretching this muscle can help relieve pain and tension in the buttocks and lower back.

To perform a piriformis muscle stretch, follow these steps:

Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Place your right ankle at the base of your left thigh.
Next, place your hands behind your left thigh and pull upward toward your chest until you feel a stretch.
Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Then do the opposite side.

Amendments

To make the stretch more comfortable, keep your bottom foot planted on the floor. Lay your head on a cushion for support.

4. Seated spinal twist

This classic twist stretches your hips, glutes, and back. It increases the mobility of your spine and stretches your abs, shoulders and neck. The pressure of this stretch also stimulates your internal organs.

To perform a seated spinal twist, follow these steps:

Sit on the floor with both legs stretched out in front of you.
Bend your left knee and place your foot on the outside of your right thigh.
Place your right arm on the outside of your left thigh.
Place your left hand behind you for support.
Starting at the base of your spine, twist to the left side.
Hold this position for up to one minute.
Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Amendments

To make this pose more comfortable, keep both legs straight. For an extra stretch, add neck rotations during this pose by inhaling to look forward and exhaling to turn the gaze backward. Make 5-10 on each side.

5. Pelvic tilt

Pelvic tilts strengthen the abdominal muscles, which helps relieve lower back pain and tension. They also have a beneficial effect on your glutes and hamstrings.

To perform a pelvic tilt, follow these steps:

Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Engage your abdominal muscles by flattening your back against the floor.
Breathe normally, holding this position for up to 10 seconds.
Release and take a few deep breaths to relax.
Do 1-3 sets of 3-5 reps.

6. Cat Stretch

The Cat Stretch is a great way to wake up your spine while stretching your shoulders, neck, and chest.

To do the cat stretch, follow these steps:

Get on all fours in a tabletop position (hands and knees on the floor).
Press down on your hands and feet as you inhale to look up, allowing your belly to fill with air.
Exhale as you tuck your chin into your chest and arch your spine toward the ceiling.
Continue this movement, moving with each breath.
Do this for 1-2 minutes.

Amendments

If you have wrist concerns, place your hands slightly forward instead of directly below your shoulders. If you have knee concerns, place a cushion under them to pad and support them. For deeper holds, just stay in each position for 5-20 seconds at a time instead of moving with each breath.

7. Sphinx Stretch

The sphinx stretch is a gentle back position that allows you to be both active and relaxed. This baby backbend stretches and strengthens your spine, buttocks and chest.

To perform the Sphinx Stretch, follow these steps:

Lie on your stomach with your elbows under your shoulders and your hands stretched out in front of you, palms down.
Place your feet slightly apart. Your big toes can touch each other.
Gently engage your lower back, buttocks and thighs as you lift your head and chest.
Stay strong in your lower back and abs, breathing deeply.
Rest your pelvis on the floor.
Look straight ahead or gently close your eyes.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

You use your lower back for a lot of things, from walking and running to just getting out of bed in the morning. Regular stretching is a great way to create and maintain flexibility, relieve tension and help build strength.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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