Nothing is more painful and nagging than a bad lower back. Whether the hurt stems from an unfortunate injury or old age, it is difficult to ignore. Walking and sitting become harder, and you can just forget about bending over to pick things up.
However, a bad lower back now does not mean you will have a bad lower back in the future. Like any muscle, your back needs to be built up and the tension in it needs to be released. That's where these stretches come into play.
From simple seated stretching to more involved yoga poses, these will not only help reduce back pain, but help to improve your overall flexibility, too. So grab a bottle of water and get your yoga mat ready because here are 12 stretches that will help relieve your lower back pain.
1. Standing Piriformis Stretch
Stand on one leg while resting the other on your thigh. Bend down at a 45-degree angle and presto: you are on your way to a healthier back already.
2. Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
If standing is too much for your joints, this supine stretch is for you. Cross your legs like you would in a standing piriformis stretch, then rotate your hips to one side.
3. Supine Piriformis Stretch
Bringing your knee to your chest, this stretch requires you to hold your ankle or knee for support. Doing this stretch in 30-second increments is the best route for it to help relieve hip pain.
4. Short Inner Thigh Stretch
Your lower thighs are crucial in supporting your back, so they need some love too. Sitting upright with the soles of your feet touching together is a great stretch to reach your inner thighs.
5. Seated Stretch
For a stretch you can do right from your office chair, the seated stretch will improve your posture drastically. Keep your back straight, bend slightly forward, and breathe deeply - and don't forget to switch sides, too!
6. Groin Stretch
You can do this stretch by either keeping your legs far apart or keeping one leg tucked in. Touch your toes and lean forward in the middle, holding for 10 to 20 seconds.
7. Outer Hip Stretch
In a seated position, cross one leg over the other. Twist your torso by placing your opposite arm behind the bent leg and stretch. Be sure to stretch on both sides and reap the benefits of healthier hips!
8. Buttocks Stretch
Also called the Pigeon Pose, this stretch is great for your glutes. Simply fold one leg forward from your hips while stretching your other leg backwards. Switch sides and you'll feel the effects in no time.
9. Hip Extensions
For a more challenging exercise, hip extensions are perfect for improving balance and hip strength. Keep your hands in line with your shoulders and raise one leg toward the sky. Do this for 15 repetitions before switching sides.
10. Side-Lying Clam Stretch
On your side, you will bend your legs back into an L-shape. Lift the top leg up to about a 30- to 45-degree angle, then repeat 15 times.
11. Cat And Cow Stretch
Nellis Air Force Base
Popular in yoga, this stretch requires you to be on all fours. Alternate between hunching your back over (like a cat) and arching it downwards (like a... cow? Although I don't know many cows who are that flexible).
12. Upward Dog
An excellent stretch for ironing out the kinks in your lower back, the Upward Dog has you lie prone before pushing yourself into an arch. Stellar for improving your lower back's flexibility.
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