How to Stretch Your Lower Back
Lower back pain has become a huge problem in the past few years. With people sitting more and reducing their activity level, we’re witnessing the rise of a back pain epidemic.
Luckily, there are some tried and true ways to both strengthen and stretch the lower back. In this article, we will review some of the best dynamic warm-up and static stretching routines for the lumbar spine.
The Best Warm-Up for the Lower Back
If you’re lacing up the shoes for a walk, run, or weightlifting session, be sure to take the time to properly warm-up.
In the past, we used to recommend that clients perform static stretching movements before exercise. Static stretches are slow, sustained holds that can increase flexibility. However, we’ve recently found that it is better to perform dynamic stretches before exercising as a warm-up. This is not to say that static stretches are useless. Rather, they should be implemented as part of a regular exercise program, just not as part of a warm-up.
Dynamic Lower Back Warm-Up Stretches
These movements will prepare your back for any stress it might experience during your exercise session. You don’t need to hold these positions for more than a second or two. Furthermore, be sure that you don’t stretch too far into any of these positions. If you feel pain, back off and only go to the point before pain. Now, let’s prime your body for your upcoming workout!
Trunk Twists in Standing
By simply standing and rotating your trunk from side to side, you’ll prepare your back for any rotational stress it might experience while you’re working out. This is critical, as people often experience back pain from rotating too far, too fast.
Perform 30 gentle trunk twists from side to side before each exercise session.
Side Bends with Overhead Reach in Standing
Another low back motion that needs to be addressed proactively is side-bending. In preparing the back for any side-bending that may occur, you can reduce the risk of injury.
Perform 30 gentle overhead reaches with side bends to each side before every exercise session.
Static Lower Back Stretches
Again, just because static stretches are poor choices before exercise, this doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. Static stretches can be done after an exercise session, before bed, or at another time that is convenient for you.
These movements will increase your range of motion throughout your lower back and surrounding areas. In doing so, you may experience less discomfort in sitting, standing, or other positions.
Child’s pose is a classic yoga move. This stretch requires you to start on your hands and knees. Next, you’ll slowly rock back until you are almost sitting on your ankles while your hands reach forward on the ground.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds, and perform four stretches per session, five days a week.
Bedside Hip Flexor Stretch
Also known as the Thomas stretch, the bedside hip flexor stretch is an excellent one for those with lower back issues. To perform the movement, you’ll shift over to the left or right side of your bed so that one leg is hanging off. Then, you’ll grab your other leg and pull it towards your chest. In doing so, you should feel a great stretch in the front of the thigh that is hanging off the bed.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds on each side, and perform four stretches per session, five days a week.
If you’re looking for relief from your lower back pain, book your appointment with Chatfield Chiropractic today. We can help you get back to your normal and say goodbye to pain for good.