One of the most common problems my clients have is lower back pain.
There are many contributing factors, that may lead to back pain or poor posture. In the modern world, we spend more of our day seated rather than standing or moving, with our bodies locked into the same position for hours on end. Mobile devices in particular often lead people to hunch over. This can place excess pressure on the lower back.
Posture plays a major role when it comes to back problems and by strengthening your core and stretching on a daily basis, at the right time and in the right way, this will significantly improve, if not completely remove all back pain.
Below are some easy to remember Lower Back Stretches I recommend you add too your daily routine.
In the morning as soon as you wake or before exercising, it is important to preform Dynamic Stretches, as these warm up your muscles, gearing them up, ready for the day.
Hold each position for no more than 5 seconds.
Stretch 1 SIDE KNEE LIFT
On all Fours – Brace your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine, keeping your pelvis level, raise your knee out to the side.
TIP – By resting something a cross your lower back will help keep your pelvis and lumbar stable.
Repeat 8 times on each leg.
Stretch 2 HIP RAISE
Resting your shoulders/ arms on the edge of the bed or couch and your feet flat on the floor with knees bent, slowly raise your hips up towards the ceiling, then lower.
Repeat 12 times
TIP – Brace your abdominal muscles to help with balance and to support your back. The closer your legs are to your body the easier it is. Begin like this and move them out a little each time to add resistance and gain strength
At night before bed and also after exercising, it is important to preform static stretches.
When we train and move through variable tasks during the day, we shorten our muscles, so when we perform static stretches, it aids in lengthening the muscles back.
Always hold these stretches for 30 seconds
Stretch 3 THE TILTED LUNGE
Lunge forward – making sure technique is followed.
Squeezing your glutes and bracing your abdominal muscles slowly, then slightly tilt your back backwards.
As you get more flexible you will be able to tilt further - always ease into it by moving slowly.
Stretch 4 THE PRONE PLANK
Exactly like the exercise, the Plank is fantastic for your lower back but can also be dangerous if not performed properly. This is used mainly as a core exercise although as I mentioned earlier, strengthening your core will significantly help lower back pain and this is why I have added the Plank to this routine.
By squeezing your glutes and pulling your belly button towards your spine and keeping your hips down, you can create a flat back.
TIP – Only hold the Plank for 5 seconds at a time to start, and as you get stronger you will be able to hold it for longer (you should only ever feel the plank in your abdominal muscles not your lower back.)
Stretch 5 CURL AND REACH
Holding a Child’s Pose (like in Yoga)
Slowly using your hands, walk them to the left, hold here for 10 secs, then walk them back to the middle again, hold for 10 seconds, then walk them to your right and hold again for 10 seconds.
Repeat 3 times