Lower Back Stretches
Stretching Exercises and Flexibility Exercises
It is important to include lower back stretches in your workout routine.
Because we tend to have sedentary lives and sit for prolonged periods, the lower back tends to get really stiff.
When the lower back is stiff, it doesn't move properly and extra pressure is placed on the structures of the spine.
In addition, a stiff lower back will make it more difficult to perform challenging ab exercises, like leg raises and sit ups. And, if your lower back is stiff, you will get less range of motion during all ab exercises.
Lack of flexibility in the lower spine is one factor that can make ab exercises less effective. Here are some flexibility exercises for the lower back.
Back Stretches #1:
Starting Position: Lie on your stomach.
Form: Gently lift your body off the ground with your hands and extend your body backwards. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then return to the starting position.
Personal Trainer Tips: Move in a slow and controlled manner. Only move as far as you feel comfortable.
Back Stretches #2:
Child's Pose or Prayer Stretch
Starting Position/ Form: Sit back on your heels and allow your arms to move over your head.
Personal Trainer Tips: This is a popular yoga pose, and it is great to help stretch the lower back after a tough ab workout or core workout.
Back Stretches #3:
Double Knees to the Side
Starting Position/ Form: Lie on your back with your feet bent. While keeping your feet on the floor, slowly lower your knees to the side. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then slowly move your knees to the other side.
Personal Trainer Tips: Use your arms to stabilize your body. You should feel a good stretch through the lower back.
Back Stretches #4:
Single Leg to the Side
Starting Position/ Form: Lie face up with your arms outstretched to the side. Lift your left leg as high as it will go, and then slowly lower it to the floor.
Personal Trainer Tips: Move as far as you can go comfortably. It is okay to move your leg until it touches your hand.
Review of Lower Back Stretches
After a tough ab workout it is a good idea to stretch your lower back muscles. Most people have stiff lower backs, so flexibility exercises are important.
Yoga is a great form of exercise that tends to focus on spinal flexibility. All of the stretches above are variations of yoga stretches for the lower back.
Remember, to include lower back stretches in your workouts, especially if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for a prolonged period of time.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles PT/PT
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