The 5 Best Back Stretches To Improve Back Flexibility
Are you struggling with back pain? Or maybe you just want to improve your general mobility?
We’ve got five awesome exercises to help loosen tight backs and improve back flexibility, to make sure you can keep checking in at the gym and smash your workouts.
Don’t let a tight back and muscular aches impact your sessions setting aside 5 or 10 minutes after each workout is a great way to implement these back stretches and improve your back mobility in general.
Stretching your back and increasing the flexibility of your posterior chain will improve the elasticity of your muscles, reducing the chance of injury and aches.
Easy Stretches For Lower Back Pain Video
4 Easy Stretches for Lower Back Pain.
Back Flexion Stretch
Kneeling Lunge Stretch
Knee to Chest Stretch
Find Activities That Make You Happy
Ongoing back pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and your ability to get stuff done at work and at home. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain.
Some people find that even doing just 3 things that make them feel good each daysuch as enjoying a comforting cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or receiving a longish 30-second hug from a loved onecan make pain more tolerable.
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Stretching Exercises For Your Back
Jason DelCollo, DO, board-certified in family medicine. He is associate faculty at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as well as adjunct faculty with the Crozer Family Medicine Residency Program, and is an attending physician at Glen Mills Family Medicine in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.
Learn some exercises to stretch all of the major muscles of your back quickly and effectively. Performing these stretches will help prevent back pain and assist in treating backaches.
Before starting any new stretching or exercise regimen, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Lower Back Stretches To Reduce Pain And Build Strength
Lower back pain is a fairly common health concern, as so many things can cause it.
In some cases, it might be a symptom of an underlying condition, like kidney stones or acute pancreatitis. Other times, its simply a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive motions.
While stretching isnt a remedy for all lower back pain, in many instances, it can provide relief. If youve been living with some mild discomfort or stiffness, these seven stretches may help reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles in your lower back.
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Lower Back Stretches To Ease Pain And Increase Strength
While stretching isnt a cure-all for lower back discomfort, it may help in many cases. If youve been experiencing slight soreness or stiffness in your lower back, these seven exercises may help relieve the pain and strengthen the muscles in your lower back.
Medically reviewed by Dr K on 3rd June 2022.
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General Tips For Stretching To Relieve Back Pain
Keeping the following in mind can help effectively stretch the muscles without injury:
- Wear comfortable clothing that wont bind or constrict movements
- Do not force the body into difficult or painful positionsstretching should be pain free
- Move into a stretch slowly and avoid bouncing, which can cause muscle strain
- Stretch on a clean, flat surface that is large enough to move freely
- Hold stretches long enough to adequately lengthen muscles and improve range of motion1
- Repeat a stretch between 2 and 5 timesa muscle usually reaches maximum elongation after about 4 repetitions1
- Stretch one side of the body at a time
Below are examples of stretches targeted for the neck, upper back, and the lower back.
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How To Do The Jefferson Curl:
Bend your knees and keep a straight back when picking up your weight
Place your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the weight with both hands
Relax your arms, and curl your back over as if you were trying to touch your toes
Keep your legs and arms straight during the entire stretch
Relax at the bottom of the movement, and exhale, embracing the stretch
Hold for a few seconds before slowly returning to the top, and repeating
Supine Figure 4 Stretch
This classic yoga pose helps open up the hips as much as it is good for massaging your low back. “This pose stretches the outer glutes, as well as your piriformis, both of which can contribute to a tight lower back,” says Hilary Wright, Y7 instructor and director of continuing education.
How to do a supine figure 4 stretch: Lie on your back on a yoga mat with both knees bent and feet planted on the floor. Lift your right leg, flex your right foot and cross your right ankle over your left thigh. If this is enough stay here, or draw your left knee in and hold behind your left thigh to increase the intensity. Hold for 10 to 15 breaths and then switch to the other side.
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Stretching And Strengthening Are Key To Healing And Preventing Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, the range of treatment options can feel overwhelming. The right choice for you depends on what is causing your pain as well as the physical and other demands of your life. For many people, back problems clear up with little or no medical intervention within a few weeks.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything while you are deliberating over treatment options. There’s a lot you can do to ease your pain and speed your healing. An exercise program designed to stretch and strengthen your back and core muscles can help you heal from a bout of acute back pain and help prevent a repeat episode.
Developing a suitable exercise program best done under expert supervision will help you build strong, flexible muscles that will be less prone to injury. If you have acute back pain, the goal of an exercise program is to help you resume normal activities as soon as possible and to remain symptom-free going forward. If you have chronic back pain, work with your physician to define your desired functional goal, whether it involves being able to take a tour of European museums, play with your grandchildren, or simply sit comfortably.
Weak back and abdominal muscles can cause or worsen low back pain. That’s why stretching and strengthening your back and abdominal muscles are important not only for treating low back pain, but also for helping to prevent a recurrence of the problem.
When To See A Doctor For Back Pain
Most of the time, minor back pain responds well to home remedies. But sometimes, back pain is a sign of another medical condition. Seek medical care if the back pain:
- Comes on suddenly without an obvious cause.
- Is severe or unbearable.
- Lasts more than a day or two and doesnt respond to over-the-counter painkillers.
- Comes with other symptoms like fatigue or weight loss.
What kind of doctor should you see for back pain? Start with your primary care physician, who can rule out conditions that may be causing the pain, Dr. Bolash says. A pain management or spine specialist is an option for people who have severe or ongoing pain. A specialist can often work toward identifying the source of your pain and provide targeted treatment options.
Another option is to ask your doctor about seeing a spine-certified physical therapist. These therapists specialize in back pain and guide you through exercises to help relieve your specific issue.
Back pain is your bodys way of telling you somethings wrong. If the pain doesnt get better with home remedies, dont ignore it contact your doctor.
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How To Do The Cat
Start kneeling down with your knees below your hips, and hands below your shoulders
Form the ‘tabletop’ position, with a flat, straight back and neutral neck position
Lower into the cow pose, exhaling and pushing your stomach down, arching your back while keeping your shoulders and hips in the same position
Move back through the ‘tabletop’ position, inhaling and pushing the spine up, arching into the Cat Pose.
Maintain a steady flow throughout the Cat-Cow pose
Which of these five back flexibility exercises will you be trying first? Let us know in the comments below.
Try our shoulder mobility exercises.
Learn more about how the Gymshark Conditioning App can compliment your mobility work. The workout app that lets you build custom workouts, track your progress, follow exclusive athlete training plans and much more. Take a peek, you know you want to.
Tips For Maintaining Good Posture
Parents often urge their children not to slouch, but thats sometimes easier said than done. Dr. Helber recommends the chin tuck maneuver for maintaining good posture.
You tuck your chin into your neck, which helps keep your head over the center of your body, he says. You should also make an effort to minimize slouching by not allowing your shoulders to fall forward or rotate inward.
Some additional posture tips:
- Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.
- Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.
- Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips .
- Do not cross your legs keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
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Injections For Low Back Pain Relief
Epidural steroid injections are a commonly used short-term choice for treating low back pain and sciatica. These injections work by reducing inflammation to relieve pain. Injections are intended for short-term use and should not be utilized for an extended period of time as they may worsen pain in the long run.
For those with chronic pain or sever spinal injury, a nerve block may be utilized to prevent nerve conduction in a certain area. This essentially blocks all feeling from nerves. Nerve blocks are typically only used in extreme cases of severe pain.
Sitting Stretches For Lower Back Pain That You Can Do At Your Desk
Youre at your desk at work, and your lower back begins to send shooting pain all the way up to your neck. Youre practically cringing in pain, but you dont necessarily want to be that person at the office who just busts out a downward dog next to the water cooler. While I have definitely and shamelessly been that person, I know youre probably on the lookout for some low-key sitting stretches for lower back pain you can do at your desk without making it look like youre preparing for a Hamilton audition in your cubicle.
First of all, what exactly is going on in your back when youre sitting at your desk all day to make it ache like that? Joan Vernikos, a former NASA scientist and author of Designed to Move: The Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy Lifelong Health, told Thrillist that she discovered that prolonged sitting can lead to the same negative health effects on the body like muscle and bone degeneration and soreness that astronauts experience after being in microgravity:
Basically, being at work all day is kind of like being an astronaut. Neat, right? She added that, when you sit a lot, the muscles have weakened and the vertebrae start collapsing, squeezing the padding and nerves between the discs. This is a huge source of pain.
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How To Improve Flexibility And Strength
There are lots of simple stretches and exercises you can do to improve flexibility and strength in your lower back.
Focus on lengthening and extending the spine. This helps to relieve compression in the lower back. Stretching the hamstrings is also beneficial.
In addition, you should choose exercises that focus on working the hips, core, and gluteal muscles.
Doing daily activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga is recommended. Put forth dedicated effort into being active as often as possible. Consistently doing exercises and activities to loosen up your lower back will usually yield positive results within a few weeks.
Here are nine exercises you can add to your daily routine to help strengthen your lower back and improve flexibility.
This exercise increases flexibility, relieves tension, and helps to loosen the lower back and hip muscles. You can also engage your core muscles if comfortable.
- erector spinae
- pelvic muscles
How Do You Strengthen Your Lower Back
If youre trying to fix that nagging back painor more importantly prevent ittry the following strength exercises and lower back stretches, demonstrated by Hollis Tuttle, certified personal trainer and run coach in New York City. Add this routine to your workouts one to two times per week. As always, consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine to ensure its safe for your condition.
How to use this list: Complete 3 to 5 sets of the following exercises in order. Perform each exercise for the specified number of reps or seconds, resting for 30 seconds between exercises. Add these moves to your routine 2 to 3 times per week. You will need a large stability ball and an exercise mat.
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% Of People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Time But There Are Ways To Find Relief
As people enter middle age, they are more likely to experience bouts of low back pain. In fact, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Mens Health: Fifty and Forward, back pain affects about four in five Americans at some point in their lives and equally strikes men and women.
Age is often the culprit. Over time, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Your discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.
Another cause of low back pain, although it occurs less often, is a herniated disc. Sometimes, a disc pushes outside the space between the bones and compresses a nerve at the point where it branches off the spinal cord. When the sciatic nerve that leads into the buttocks and leg is affected, the pain is called sciatica.
Yet, most cases of low back pain stem from strain or sprain due to simple overuse, unaccustomed activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. In most cases the best move is to wait and see if the pain resolves on its own. If the pain does not improve after three to four days, then its time to see a doctor.
However, depending on the source of your back pain and its severity, you might try a few home remedies for low back pain to help ease the pain until your back returns to normal. Here are several options to consider:
Complementary therapies. Several types of complementary therapy may be helpful for relief from low back pain. These include:
The Best Exercises To Strengthen Your Lower Back Trainer Says
For many of us, an area of the body that’s prone to injury is the lower back. The risk usually increases as you age, due to losing flexibility, muscle mass, and core strength. This makes it extremely important to stay active, and continue lifting weights and stretching regularly. When you want to strengthen your lower back, you need to train it indirectly. Most people believe you need to perform sets of Supermans and back extensions, when it should actually be the opposite. So we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the best exercises to strengthen your lower back. Add them to your regimen ASAP, and read on to learn more.
The lower back acts as a stabilizer, and oftentimes, it can compensate for certain exercises or movement patterns because of a weak core. It may sound counterintuitive, but strengthening your core and your glutes will allow you to build your lower back as well. You don’t necessarily need exercises that target your lower back directly or finish your movements by hyperextending your lower back. Instead, focus on movements that train your core, glutes, and lats. These muscles will help stabilize your spine and keep you pain-free and injury-free.
Incorporate the following movements into your routine in order to strengthen your lower back. And next, be sure to read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
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