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If you feel like your lower back needs a good stretch after a run, a workout, or even a long day in the office, let me show you five of my favourite lower back stretches. Before I get into demonstrating the different exercises, it’s important for me to mention that there are of course different potential causes for the tightness in your back. Sometimes the muscles of the lower back get tight and feel like they need stretching as a result of weakness, or to protect a more significant injury. It’s important that if you’re regularly experiencing lower back pain and stiffness, that you get a physical therapist to assess your back and determine the root cause.
That said, let’s take a look at these exercises so you can get started right now… The cobra stretch from the elbows is a gently way of working your lower back into extension from top-down, you can then progress to supporting yourself on your hands as your extension improves. Begin by lying face-down on the floor. Bring your hands palms down in front of your face and press your forearms into the ground to lever your chest off the floor. Be sure to breathe out as you push yourself off the ground.
When this is easy, you can progress onto working with straight arms, pushing only through your hands. This will increase the amount of extension required from your lower back. Aim for 10 x 10 second holds in the extended position. This exercise is particularly good for those who suffer from lumbar disc problems. Those who have irritable lumbar facet joints, however should avoid it. Child’s pose is a fantastic stretch into lumbar flexion, as well as thoracic extension. Begin by kneeling upright. From there sit back onto your heels, and band forward to bring your torso down to the ground. Reach your arms forwards and feel your chest sink downwards to the ground as you breathe out and relax.
Once you’re in this position. Maintain the pose for 20-40 seconds 3-5 times This stretch is fantastic to reach muscular tightness in the lower back, but should be approached with caution if you know you suffer from a lumber disc bulge or prolapse. Knee hugs are a super-simple way of achieving a stretch through the muscles of the lower back, while also working on hip flexion. Lying on your back on the ground, bring both knees up towards your chest and wrap your arms around them, hugging them tightly. You can do this either with both legs, or one at a time. Maintain the stretch for 20-40 seconds 3-5 times. One of my favourite exercises to work on lumbar stiffness is the simple knee drops exercise. Lying on your back, you can either do this with your feet flat on the ground, or with them elevated, making the exercise more difficult. Place your arms directly out to your sides, which will help to keep your shoulders down as you drop your knees from side to side. You should aim to keep your knees and ankles together as you allow your knees to drop together slowly, with control from the left to the right, and back again.
Aim to do 3 sets of 20 of these knee drops. The Iron cross exercise is a somewhat more advanced option, which will not only give you a good lower back stretch, but also in many cases a lateral hamstring stretch too – depending where you’re tight. As per the knee drop exercise, spread your arms out to your sides and aim to keep your shoulders on the ground as you perform the drill. From there keep one leg relatively straight and kick the other leg across towards the opposite hand. Work alternate sides through 3 sets of 10. As with any exercise, if this causes you any discomfort, make sure you stop and seek professional advice. Good luck with these lower back stretches. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments! Let me know how you get on. Bye now. .
As found on Youtube