Ease the Pain: 10 Stretches to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain
Are you suffering from lower back pain?
The gym is another common cause. It’s all too easy to injure your back while lifting weights. If you do, it can put you out of training for weeks, or even months.
Thankfully, there is something you can do about it. With frequent stretching, you can release tension and ease the pain. In this post, we’ll give you ten of the best stretches for lower back pain.
Enhance Your Training with These Stretches for Lower Back Pain
These stretches will help you to treat and prevent lower back issues, so you can stay in tip-top shape.
1. Child’s Pose
This stretch is great for lengthening the lower back muscles.
Start by coming down to your knees on a yoga mat. Stretch your arms out, laying your palms on the floor in front of you. Then, sit back onto your heels.
Your forehead should rest on the floor, while your chest comes down between your thighs. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, breathing slowly throughout. Then, come back up before repeating it again.
To get an extra stretch through your lats in this position, walk your fingers even further forward.
2. Downward-Facing Dog
Tension in your hips and legs could be contributing to your lower back pain. If that’s the case, this stretch will help you. You can transition straight into this one from the previous stretch.
From child’s pose, put your feet on the ground and straighten your legs as much as you can, lifting your hips up into the air. As you do so, keep your palms flat on the ground.
If you can’t fully straighten your legs, that’s OK. You can keep them slightly bent if you need to. Pressing your hands into the floor, sit your hips back. You’ll feel a big stretch in your lower back and your hamstrings.
A chiropractor can help you to learn how other muscles contribute to lower back pain. Read more now to learn how to find one.
3. Knee to Chest
Lie on your back, making sure to keep your spine straight and not to arch.
Then, bring your knees as close to your body as possible. Reach your hands around them and pull them into your chest. To get a little more out of this stretch, rock slightly from side to side.
As well as stretching your lower back, this exercise will also improve your mobility by repeatedly flexing and extending the spine.
Start by coming down to all fours. Your wrists should be aligned with your elbow and shoulders, while your knees should be directly under your hips. Make sure you’re looking forward, rather than down at the floor.
From there, inhale and round your back, dropping your head down into ‘cat’ pose. Hold for a few seconds before exhaling, looking up at the ceiling and lifting your chest and tailbone. This is the ‘cow’ pose.
Alternate between these two positions 10-15 times.
5. Eye of the Needle
Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
Bring one foot up to rest on the opposite knee. Then, thread your arms through your legs, clasping them behind the leg that is still planted on the ground. From there, pull the leg towards your chest.
Hold for 15-30 seconds before switching sides. This will give you a great glute stretch, too.
6. Supine Twist
After the last stretch, remain on your back. Bring one leg up in the air, and then across to the other side of the body, resting your foot on the ground.
Keep your upper body in place, with your shoulders on the ground. Only your lower body should be twisted. You can use your hand to pull your knee closer to the floor for an extra stretch. As you do so, look in the opposite direction.
Hold this position for around 30 seconds before repeating with the other leg.
Roll over onto your front.
Stretch out your legs and place your elbows on the floor, directly under your shoulders. Using your forearms and palms, press into the floor so that your chest comes up and your hips go down. Hold this post for around 30 seconds.
From sphinx, bring your elbows off the floor so that your arms are straight when you press your palms down. This will elongate your spine. Make sure to release any tension in your shoulders, making yourself as tall as possible.
Hold this for another 30 seconds.
9. Seated Toe Touch
Start in a seated position, with your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
From there, lean forward, stretching your arms out and trying to touch your toes. If you’re not that flexible, don’t worry. You can grab your ankles or simply rest your hands on your shins and still get a good stretch.
Hold this position for up to a minute, trying to reach further and further forward throughout.
The bridge is a great exercise for improving your flexibility and mobility. If you make it part of your regular routine, you’ll see reduced stiffness and soreness.
To get started, lie on your back and plant your feet on the floor. Keep your palms on the ground at your sides. Using your glutes, press your hips up off the floor, as high as you can.
If you’re a little more flexible and have great physical fitness, you can try an advanced version of this stretch. This involves placing your hands by your ears, so that your elbows are pointing upwards and your fingers are pointing towards your feet. This way, when you push your hips up, your arms will come off the floor, too.
Yoga for Bodybuilding
Many of these stretches for lower back pain are also essential yoga poses.
While yoga may not seem particularly relevant for bodybuilders, it’s important that you incorporate it into your training. Stretching out your muscles will help you to release tension so that you can stay injury-free. It also increases your mobility, so you can improve your form and lift heavier.
To learn more about this kind of exercise, read our post on the origin and history of yoga.