Low Back Stretching

Low Back Stretching

Start on hands and knees and feet apart.  Keeping your head down slowly sit back until your hips are between your ankles.  If you need to, stretch up  with hands.  This should create a comfortable stretch in your low back.  Hold 30 seconds. 

If getting on your hands and knees is difficult for you, you may modify this exercise as follows:

Sit on a chair well back from a table.  Keeping head down, stretch arms out in front, and slide hips back until you feel a stretch in your low back.  Hold 30 seconds.  If you pick up your head, you may eliminate the stretch.

To focus on only one side of your low back, take the arm on the side of the desired stretch, and reach across your body to the opposite side:

The person in this picture is stretching his left side.  Hold 30 seconds.  You may choose to stretch the opposite side as well.

Following is another variation of a side stretch that reaches your low back one side at a time:

Sit on the floor with both knees pointing away from the side you wish to stretch.  The pictured stretch is for the left low back (quadratus lumborum muscle).  First shift your weight onto your elbows, and keep your opposite hip from rolling forward.  Next, stretch your top arm up overhead, and reach as far as possible.  Hold 30 seconds.

To stretch the hip flexor and the low back together, try the following:

           

Kneel on one knee on the side of the desired stretch.  Keep hips tucked under, or forward.  In other words, don’t let your rear end stick out!  Now reach overhead with the arm on the same side.  Reach as high as you can, even side bending away from the tight side.  Another option is to slightly rotate your body toward the side you are stretching, in this case rotate right.  Hold 30 seconds. 

I hope these will help you to remember what you learned at therapy.

Remember not to hold your breath while you are exercising!

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