8 Stretch Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

8 Stretch Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain

The lower back is one of the most common places for injury or pain, in this article ,we are going to provide you with 8 exercises to stretch out that discomfort.

It’s important to figure out what’s causing pain, but in most situations, doing some gentle stretching can help relieve tightness and give your lower back some relief.

Stretching exercises are safe to do daily. Never stretch into a position of pain though as you can make the situation worse. Only stretch as far as your body will let you!

If your lower back pain is more of a general aches or discomfort, it’s worth trying some stretches to address any tightness and alignment issues. We  have tried and tested these, we feel they can help you a lot!

Here are the stretches we recommend:

1. Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle is a deep internal hip rotator, located on the outside of the glute. Its primary role is external rotation. “Deep internal rotators, while small, produce a lot of the movement at the hip and are often overlooked.” Since the piriformis crosses over the sciatic nerve, if it is tight, it can result in sciatic nerve irritation. Stretching this muscle can prevent potential future sciatica, or help treat it.

How to:

  • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, and place your right foot flat on the floor.
  • Place your right hand on the floor behind your body.
  • Place your left hand on your right quad or your left elbow on your right knee (as shown) and press your right leg to the left as you twist your torso to the right.
  • If the spinal rotation bothers your back, take it out and simply use your left hand to pull your right quad in and to the left.
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Stretches: hips, back, glutes

2. Lunge With Spinal Twist

This stretch is commonly referred to as the greatest stretch in the fitness community. It’s essential to help with posture-related pain or for people who sit for prolonged periods of time. It helps open your hips and improve thoracic (mid-back) mobility.

How to:

  • Start standing with your feet together.
  • Take a big step forward with your left foot, so that you are in a staggered stance.
  • Bend your left knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your right leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your right thigh.
  • Place your right hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the left as you extend your left arm toward the ceiling.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Stretches: hip flexors, quads, back

3. Figure Four Stretch

This specifically stretches the piriformis and iliopsoas muscles (essentially your hip rotator and flexor muscles) and the IT band. Because of this and the passive nature of the pose, it is an excellent and gentle approach to helping relieve symptoms associated with sciatica and knee pain.

How to:

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your left foot over your right quad.
  • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
  • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
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Stretches: hips, glutes, lower back, hamstrings

4. Knee to Chest Stretch

How to:

  • Lie on your back with both legs extended.
  • Pull your right knee into your chest, while keeping the left leg straight and your lower back pressed into the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Stretches: lower back, hips, hamstrings

5. Sphinx Stretch

How to:

  • This pose stretches the lower back in a gentle way—plus, it engages your abs, which further supports the lower back.
  • Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you.
  • Place your elbows under your shoulders and your forearms on the floor as you lift your chest up off the floor.
  • Press your hips and thighs into the floor, and think about lengthening your spine while keeping your shoulders relaxed.
  • Sit up just enough to feel a nice stretch in your lower back. Don’t hyperextend, and stop immediately if you start to feel any discomfort or pain.

Stretches: lower back, chest, shoulders

6. Extended Puppy Pose

How to:

  • Start on all fours.
  • Walk your arms forward a few inches and curl your toes under.
  • Push your hips up and back halfway toward your heels.
  • Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Stretches: back, shoulders, glutes

7. Pretzel Stretch

The pretzel stretch because stretches multiple important postural muscles in one stretch. You’ll stretch the quads of your bottom leg, your spine, lower back and the glutes and hip flexors of your top leg.

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How to:

  • Lie on your left side with your head resting on your arm.
  • Bend your right knee and hip up toward your chest as far as you can, and let it drop to the floor.
  • Bend your left knee and grab your left foot (use a strap if you can’t reach it) with your right hand.
  • Make sure your leg and torso remain in a straight line as you gently bring your top shoulder blade toward the floor.
  • For more of a spinal twist, turn your head to look over your right shoulder.

Stretches: quads, glutes, obliques, hips, back

8. Twisted Reclined Pigeon

How to:

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and arms out to your sides in either a T or cactus arms (as shown).
  • Cross your right foot over your left quad.
  • Lift your left leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your left leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
  • Then, let your legs fall down to the left side, keeping your right foot just above your left knee. Try to keep your shoulder blades on the floor and hips as square to the ceiling as possible.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Stretches: hips, glutes, lower back

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