With modern-day jobs gluing us to our chairs, there is no wonder that most of us have back problems. The lack of movement, especially of the core of the body results in our muscles being passive and ultimately, lower back pain. The lack of physical activity can lead to weak muscles and weak muscles can’t sustain our body the way they should. This is where the pain and the stiffness come from.
But there are times when the pain might be a symptom of something bigger like kidney stones. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain in your lower back consult a health professional.
The backward stretch is the perfect way to stretch your back while relaxing your shoulders and chest as well. This is a pretty basic position and you can do it at home or even at work in a private space. All you need is a chair or something that is a similar height. Come onto all fours in a tabletop position (hands and knees on the ground). Put your hands on the chair and sit on your knees. Look up as you inhale, allowing your belly to fill with air. Exhale and tuck your chin into your chest and at the same time arch your spine toward the ceiling. Continue repeating these movements for 1 to 2 minutes until you start feeling better.
The backward stretch is a great way to relax and stretch and takes no time at all.
The pelvic tilt is probably the most underrated stretching exercise because it doesn’t look like much. Lying on your back on the floor does not sound like an exercise after all. This little exercise is so simple and modest but at the same time, it’s so effective and pain-relieving that I had to include it on this list.
Start by lying on your back and bend your knees. Your butt should rest on the floor and the natural curvature of your spine will lift your lower back. Push your stomach out and arch your back only as far as you feel comfortable. Hold that position for 10 seconds and then gently let go of the arch. Hold this position for 5–10 seconds, then repeat. Don’t forget to breathe during the whole exercise.
This little exercise is great for your legs as well as your lower back. This tilt puts your body in a position that it isn’t used to and stretches the muscles on your lower back. When you do this stretch you will feel as though a weight has been lifted off your body.
This exercise is performed by first lying on your back. Keep your knees together and raise your legs. Start by rolling your knees to the side and hold for a few seconds. Roll your legs on the other side and repeat. Don’t forget to relax your back and keep your chin forward.
Standing Hip Circles
This stretching exercise helps you release hip stiffness and pain. The origin of this movement comes from martial arts where it is used to help the athlete loosen up for high kicks. In general, this movement helps with flexibility as well.
Start by standing on one leg and raise the unsupported knee to 90 degrees. Open the hip as far as you can and make a big circle with your knee. Repeat this slowly and keep your core straight. Don’t forget to breathe. Repeat on the other side as well.
This stretch is perfect if you want to feel the effect immediately. If you’re in great pain, this exercise will help you relax and will stretch your muscles and dull the pain. The name speaks of its origin but this stretch is used for athletes all over, not only dancers.
To perform this exercise start by sitting on the floor. Bend your knee and cross your legs. Continue by moving your upper body in the opposite direction. Hold that position for a few seconds and then repeat the same movement on the other side. Repeat until you feel better.