It is hard to do your best work in all areas of life when you are dealing with pain. Back pain is especially hard to ignore because your back is such a crucial part of your body for every movement. At Plunkett Fitness, we aim to help all of our clients feel better every day, and that includes providing stretches that can help relieve back pain. Here is a list of some of our favorite stretches to relieve back pain.
1. Trunk Rotation Stretch
How to: The trunk rotation stretch requires you to lie on your back with your knees bent. Keeping your upper back flat on the ground, rotate your legs in one direction toward the floor until you feel a stretch. Repeat the stretch on the other side. You can hold each stretch for about five seconds and repeat ten times on each side.
Benefits: This stretch relaxes the muscles on both sides of the trunk and helps improve spinal mobility.
2. Child’s Pose
How to: Get down on your hands and knees. Slowly sit your hips back while you reach your arms forward. Allow the arms to rest on the ground. You should feel a mild stretch in your back. You can hold this pose for a few seconds at a time.
Benefits: Child’s pose relaxes the muscles in the lower back, and it helps improve spinal mobility.
3. Knee to Chest Stretch
How to: Lie flat on your back and point your toes toward the sky. Slowly bend one knee and pull the same leg up to your chest. To stretch, wrap your arms around your shin, thigh, or knee and pull your knee toward your chest. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, extend the leg back to the starting position, and repeat with the other leg.
Benefits: This stretch helps stretch the lower back muscles, while also aligning the pelvis.
4. Cobra Stretch
How to: Start on your stomach with your legs extended. Plant your palms and forearms flat on the ground by your face. Slowly push your body up until your weight is resting on your forearms while keeping your hips on the ground. Stay in the stretch for 10 seconds and slowly return to your starting position. Repeat five times.
Benefits: The cobra stretch helps relieve tight abdominal and lower back muscles.
5. Cat-Cow Back Stretch
How to: Starting on your hands and knees, arch your back upward toward the ceiling and hold the stretch for about five seconds. Slowly, drop down until your belly is slightly lower than normal and your head is slightly tilted up. Hold this stretch for about five seconds. Alternate between the two stretches ten times.
Benefits: Strengthen both abdominal and back muscles with this stretch. Additionally, this stretch helps with the mobility of the spine.
6. Hamstring Stretch
How to: Sit on the floor with one leg outstretched and the other bent. Keeping your back flat, lean forward at the hips until you feel a stretch behind your thigh. Switch the positions of your legs and repeat. Each stretch should be held for about ten seconds. Repeat five times on each side.
Benefits: Sitting for long periods of time causes the back of the legs to tighten. This tightening pulls on your back when you bend forward. This stretch helps with loosening these muscles and improving flexibility in the hamstrings.
7. Lying Knee Twist
How to: Lie on your back with your legs outstretched. Bend one knee up and cross it over the other side of your body. Hold the position for about 20 seconds when you feel a gentle stretch in your back and buttocks. Go back to the start position and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat three to five times on each side.
Benefits: Lying knee twists stretch the paraspinal muscles. You can also help strengthen your abs with these stretches.
8. Piriformis Seated Stretch
How to: Sit on the floor with your back straight. Cross your left leg over your right leg and place your foot next to your thigh. Tuck your right leg in toward your buttocks. Using your right arm, gently pull on your left knee to perform a stretch. Hold for 20 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform the stretch three times per side.
Benefits: Use this stretch to lengthen the piriformis muscle, which is often the source of sciatica.
Help eliminate back pain with these stretches. When you start to feel better, you will be able to get back into your regular workout routine. To start group training classes, contact Plunkett Fitness today at 913-390-3360.