08 July, 2011
5 Ways to Stretch Your Lower Back
Give Yourself a Hug
Many will experience low back pain, stiffness or tightness at some point in their life. A tight lower back is tough to avoid, as daily activities, such as walking and sitting, can lead to this issue. Prevention is key to avoid this condition and stretching can help to shun tightness. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Gently lift your feet off the floor. Pull both knees towards your chest with your arms. If you feel pain, stop immediately. Otherwise, relax and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Do not perform this stretch if you are pregnant. This exercise can also be done one leg at a time.
A taut lower back can eventually manifest into significant pain and lead to an injury, but you can prevent that by stretching like a feline. Balance your body on your hands and knees with a flat back. Sag back and lift your head as high up to the sky as you can. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, arch back and lower your head down like an angry cat. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Stop immediately if you feel pain.
Yogis refer to this stretch as Up Dog -- not only does it target your lower back, but it also lengthens your torso for a two-for-one tool to prevent injuries. Lie on your stomach with your legs and arms extended. Prop your elbows on the floor. Begin to straighten your elbows while at the same time extending your back until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat. Do not perform this stretch if you are pregnant. Stop if you feel pain.
Seated Spine Twist
If you're tired of arriving home with a stiff, sore lower back, try stretching at the office. Sit on the floor and cross the right leg over the left. Place your right hand on the floor for balance, and then use your left hand to pull against the outside of your right thigh until you feel a stretch. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds and then switch sides.
Lying Spine Twist
Lie on your back with your legs straight and your arms stretched above your head on the floor. While keeping your back flat on the floor, pull your right leg across your body at the level of your hips. Relax your body and hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds before resuming the neutral position. Repeat the exercise on the other side to evenly stretch your back muscles.
- Michele Rider/Demand Media