When I was in my early 20s I hurt my back while planting a big pine tree. It looked good once we got it in place, but it wasn’t worth the pain I’ve felt ever since.
These days my back really gives me problems when I sit too long and during gardening season, when I spend too many hours hunched over in awkward positions.
Over the past couple years I’ve tried different stretches, but until recently, have never managed to get into a regular routine. I would find a new stretch, try it out for a few days, feel a little better, and then forget it.
Until I stumbled upon this routine. 7 stretches in 7 minutes. The stretches flow from one to the other and thoroughly stretch out every inch of your lower back. As my garden gets ready for pruning, I’m thankful to have a new system that works so well. Give it a try for yourself!
7 Stretching Exercises For Lower Back Pain
1. Floor Hamstrings
Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet on the floor. Then raise one leg upwards and reach behind your hamstring with both hands to feel a stretch through the back of your leg. Hold for 30 seconds and then switch legs.
Don’t worry if your leg isn’t straight, your flexibility will improve as you go.
2. Knees to Chest
Still on your back hold each knee to your chest one at a time and hold for 30 seconds. To avoid putting stress on your knees, put your hands behind your knee rather than on top. You should feel the stretch through your lower back and glutes.
If you’re flexible, you can try to straighten your bent leg for an even deeper strength, but if that puts too much stress on your back, leave it bent.
3. Piriformis Stretch
This is similar to the last stretch but with your opposite leg crossed over. So cross one leg over the other so your ankle is just passed your knee and then gently pull the knee toward your head and hold for 30 seconds. Then switch legs.
You should feel the stretch in your glutes, especially in the leg that is crossed over.
4. Spinal Stretch
For this exercise you keep your shoulders flat on the floor while crossing one leg over the other and attempting to lower your knee toward the floor. You can place your opposite hand on top of your knee and ever so gently stretch it farther for 30 seconds. Then switch.
You should feel the stretch in your lower back, especially toward the sides.
5. Lying Down Quadriceps
You’ve probably performed this exercise standing up before, but doing it lying down helps you to get a better stretch because you don’t have to worry about losing your balance.
Just lie on your side, grab your leg just below the ankle, and gently pull it toward your butt for 30 seconds. Then switch. You should feel the stretch in your quads.
6. Hip Flexors
To perform this stretch get up on one knee, place both hands just above your knee and gently stretch forward for 30 seconds. Then switch legs.
You should feel the stretch in through your hips and legs, and remember to keep your back straight.
7. Total Back Stretch
Finally rise to a standing position and find a table or counter about the height of your waist to hold onto. Lean forward and feel the stretch through your entire back. Hold for 30 seconds, then shake it out, and then repeat for another 30.
Please be advised that before carrying out any of the above exercises, you should consult your doctor beforehand, just to ensure you won’t accidentally be causing more harm rather than good. But if you are in the all clear then I hope you love this routine as much as me because living with lower back pain can be dreadful, especially during gardening season.