Wondering what lower back exercises and stretches you should be doing?
It can be pretty hard to find the right answer to what your back actually needs when you’re googling away and trying to find stretches and exercises to help your problems. It is important to get a thorough physical check-up from a Chiropractor first and ask them those questions. Depending on what’s happening/happened to your spine, you will benefit from different exercises and stretches and if you do just any old exercise that you think may help, you may actually be doing more harm than good.
In saying that, here are just a couple of safe lower back exercises you can do. Pay attention to how you feel whilst doing these movements, if any of them create or exacerbate your pain then stop and ask for professional help. We offer complimentary consultations and talk to you about what’s going on to firstly determine if we can definitely help you and secondly to explain the process we go through to get your structure back to normal and determine if it’s what you want as well.
1. Cat/cow exercise.
This exercise is derived from yoga practice and the main purpose of it is to create proper spinal motion and mobility. It’s good for the entire spine, although if you have an acute injury that’s just come up, some of these movements may actually be painful in which case you shouldn’t be doing them.
- Start on all fours.
- As you slowly inhale, bend your head down towards the floor and tuck your tailbone in so you’re rounding your spine into a ‘C’ shape (a “cat”).
- Hold this position for a couple of seconds, then slowly exhale and look up and push your tailbone (a “cow”).
- Repeat 10 times.
- Each repetition should be done gently and slowly and should take about 10 seconds each. So the entire set will take you just over a minute and a half.
2. Hip Extension.
When you start this exercise you should first engage your TVA and multifidus muscles by doing a pelvic tilt. A pelvic tilt is basically lowering your lower back towards the floor and ‘closing’ the gap between your spine and the floor. You will also feel your tailbone getting tucked in.
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your back relaxed.
- Hold this contraction and then lift up your hips towards the ceiling as high as you can without creating pain or arching your lower back.
- At the top give your buttock a nice squeeze for a couple of seconds then lower down slowly.
- Repeat 10 times.
- Each repetition should take you about 8-10 seconds to complete.
3. Erector Spinae stretch.
This stretch is also done a lot in yoga practice also known as the ‘Child’s Pose’.
- Lie facing down with your legs either underneath your body or your knees out to the sides (whichever is more comfortable).
- Stretch out in front of you by reaching forward as far as possible with your arms.
- Take 5-10 full SLOW breaths in and out while in this position.
There you have it. 3 simple exercises/stretches you can perform when you are feeling tight/achy or stiff but please ask for professional help if you have just recently hurt/injured your back as these may aggravate what’s going on in your spine.
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