Sitting in one position can cause significant strain on your body. Sometimes, the pain can get so intense that it starts affecting your lifestyle, making you want to stay in bed all day.
However, you can try out different combinations of lower back stretch to relieve soreness. The best part is that you don't even need extra equipment to do them. Although, investing in a walking treadmill or massage tool can benefit you more.
Most lower back stretch exercises offer a quick remedy, although temporarily. However, when you're in excruciating pain, almost anything is good enough if it can make you feel better.
On the other hand, investing in ergonomic office gym equipment can prevent joint and back issues from surfacing in the first place. We'll get to how that works in another section later.
Why Should You Try Lower Back Stretching Poses?
It's not uncommon to develop soreness or tightness around your joints and lower back, especially if you're working at a desk all day. However, the problem arises when the pain becomes chronic and impacts different aspects of your life.
If walking or even bending becomes something you dread, know that it's time to try out remedies for the issue. The best part about stretches is that you don't need much space or tools to try them out.
Even though it can't fix all back issues, many yoga poses can temporarily relieve the constant stress on your body.
At the same time, tightening and loosening your muscles allows blood to start flowing freely again. You might initially experience a pins and needles sensation, but that's only the sudden rush of blood causing it.
Doing a combination of lower back stretches and aerobic movements can reduce inflammation around your sore muscles. You can also do standing desk exercises if you don't have floor space in your office.
Many people also prefer a hot and cold treatment to find pain relief. You can also consider investing in an automatic traction device for your chair. The lumbar support can prevent muscle cramps in the first place.
Tips Before Trying out Any Lower Back Stretch
Although it’s reasonably easy to attempt stretches alone without professional guidance, there are a few things you should still note down before getting started. On top of that, not knowing how to stretch your lower back properly can damage muscles in the long run.
The worst thing you could do is rush in with the exercises without warming up first. Tense muscles are already stressed, so suddenly contorting your body to different angles can cause wear and tear.
If you have space in your room, consider doing a few jumping jacks or skipping for 30 seconds. This will allow blood circulation and prepare your muscles for what's coming.
Breathe In and Out
The proper way to stretch your lower back is to combine it with continuous deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth. You should be able to feel the air pass through your lungs.
Focusing on your breath can also prevent you from getting distracted by your surroundings. Create a little "me time" when doing lower back stretch exercises.
Hold Each Pose
It's pointless if you don't hold onto each pose when stretching your sore muscles. The longer you stay in the position, the better relief you can expect. Yoga experts recommend propping yourself up in one stretch for at least 10 seconds.
Create a Soothing Ambiance
As mentioned, you should relax and wind down when stretching your body. Play soft music, light a few scented candles, or turn on a documentary you like on the TV. Take this chance to feel refreshed and energized.
It's critical to be very gentle and easy on your muscles when stretching, especially if it's something you never did before.
However, don't even try them without professional guidance if you have existing muscle injuries. Doing a lower back stretch on a damaged body can worsen and even cause old wounds to open up.
10 Easy Lower Back Stretches to Practice
Let's check out a few poses that can relieve chronic lower back pain and muscle cramps.
1. Child's Pose
The easiest lower back stretch you can do is the Child's Pose. It's a simple yoga position that targets stretching lumbar muscles.
To do this, you should be on a flat surface, preferably on a floor mat, to protect your knees from bruising. Extend both arms forward with palms facing down and your legs bent, tucked under. It would be best if you tried to widen your hips as much as possible, allowing them to open and loosen up.
Keep your head downwards, and reach as far as you can with your palms. Breathe in and out slowly while stretching. You should feel a good pull on your lower back, hips, and thighs. Stop immediately if it feels too painful.
2. Knee to Chest
Another simple yoga pose is this one, which requires you to be on a flat surface. Lie down straight on your back to face the ceiling directly.
Pull your legs up, with your knees touching your chest as close as possible. Embrace your legs, and sway your hips side to side slowly. Continue stretching in this pose for 20 seconds, and loosen your body. Repeat if it brings you good relief, but don't overdo it.
3. Pelvic Push
This hip and lower back stretch is excellent when you have tight joints. The pose can open up your pelvic bones and bring mobility back to your lower body.
Lie comfortably on the floor with your arms resting and palms down. Keep your legs in a half-raised position, so you feel a slight pull on your lower back muscles. Tilt your pelvis upwards 15 times while inhaling and exhaling slowly.
You can also widen your legs onto the sides when tilting upwards if you feel soreness and tension around your thigh muscles.
4. Hand-to-Toe Stretch
Sore hamstrings and nerve pulls are the worst, but this lower back stretch can provide much-needed relief. However, try this with caution, as overdoing it can cause significant discomfort.
You should lie comfortably on a flat surface and keep your body straight and legs stretched out.
Slowly raise one leg by holding onto your big toe without bending it. Keep your leg as straight as possible, and pull it closer to your face. Stop if it feels too uncomfortable or painful.
However, doing it right can help you find relief around your lower back, hips, and hamstrings. You might also feel a slight buzzing sensation in your legs, similar to pins and needles.
5. Spinal Twist
The spinal twist pose is great for opening up your glutes and lower back. You can also expect increased mobility around your lumbar muscle and shoulders. Do this pose slowly and gently, so you don't cause muscle cramps.
Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend either of your legs and place it over the alternative thigh.
It would be best if you kept your arm with palms down (opposite the bent leg) behind your back, as far back as possible. Twist slowly in the direction of your arm for at least a minute or two. Remember to take deep breaths while doing this.
Repeat the process if it doesn't feel painful or cause discomfort. Many prefer using electric tools, such as a Lyric therapeutic massager. The vibrating end can improve blood circulation after exercise.
6. The Cat-Cow
This is another hip and lower back stretch you can do without professional guidance. It's easy and requires only a few minutes of your day.
Similar to the child's pose, you'll also want to be on all fours for this stretch. However, instead of leaning forward, you should keep your palms and knees on the floor (tabletop pose).
Look up every time you breathe through your nose and fill your stomach with air. Afterwards, arch your back upwards when exhaling through your mouth.
This stretch targets your spine and hip joints, relieving muscle fatigue. Use a posture control device if you cannot hold the cat-cow pose.
7. Cobra Stretch
Further down the list, we have the cobra or sphinx stretch. This is a low-intensive pose that helps your muscle tighten and loosen gently.
Lie down on your stomach on a flat surface, preferably with a mat underneath your body. Keep your elbows under your shoulders, and extend your arms, so your palms face the ground.
Breathe in deeply and slowly while raising and lowering your upper body. Make sure to keep staring forward while doing the pose.
Continue stretching for 30 seconds to a minute. You should feel a pull on your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Some people claim to feel the tension in their lower abdomen too.
The plank is one of the most straightforward lower back stretch exercises out there. It's also the most common one incorporated into every workout routine.
You should lie down with your stomach on the floor and keep your elbows under your shoulders. Raise your body and hold the position with your toes. Wear comfortable shoes before this pose, or you can bruise your toenails.
Tightening your lower abdomen and glutes is recommended when holding the stretch. Try not to drop your pelvis to the ground. Your arms, shoulders, waist, and lower back might burn, but keep pushing through for at least 30 seconds.
Slowly drop down to the floor and rest for 10 seconds. Repeat the process a few more times. The best thing about this stretch is that it helps burn calories while relieving lower back pain.
However, remember to breathe through the process. Inhaling and exhaling enough air can lessen the burn on your muscles too.
9. Abdominal Crunches
This pose can help align your hips and provide lower back support. It can also strengthen your core muscles, preventing inflammation and unwanted soreness.
Lie flat on the ground, with your hands bent behind your head. Keep your knees bent as well and your feet apart.
Push your core muscles to raise your upper body, and exhale deeply throughout the process. You should feel a good burn around your shoulder blades, lower belly, and lumbar muscles. Don't forget to take 10-second breaks after 30 seconds of stretching.
10. Shoulder Blade Squeezes
The final lower back stretch exercise you can do is the shoulder blade squeeze. This is low-intensive seated stretching, so you want to sit straight for this pose with your palms resting casually on your thighs.
Squeeze your shoulders, thus your back muscles, towards the middle, and hold for five seconds. Let go and repeat the process a few times. This pose might slightly stress your shoulders, but it positively impacts the lower spine.
As always, remember to breathe in deeply during the exercise.
Invest In Ergonomic Equipment to Prevent Lower Back Pain at Work
Most of us contract lower back pain at work, mainly due to sitting long hours in an uncomfortable chair. Such furniture can cause low blood circulation, little to no mobility, and muscle cramps.
Now, you can't just quit your job, but you can invest in a few ergonomic pieces of equipment to make your work hours bearable.
Consider a sit-stand desk if you want to stay active and mobile while operating your laptop. On the other hand, a breathable mesh office chair with lumbar and head support can prevent cramping and headaches.
You can also find compact and foldable walking treadmills for easy storage under desks. Bring it out whenever your legs stiffen up, and go for a 10-minute jog.
A lower back stretch now and then can prevent muscle inflammations and soreness from disrupting your daily chores. However, it's essential to know how to do the poses and always maintain caution. It would help if you didn't overextend yourself.
Remember to go slow and breathe deeply when trying a standing lower back stretch. Investing in the office gym equipment we mentioned can also prevent chronic muscle cramps and stiffness from developing.
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