1. Single Knee to Chest
Tight hamstrings can restrict movement in the pelvis and lead to back pain and injury. This is one of the most effective stretches for relieving lower back pain, especially when a full leg extension is added.
- Single Knee to Chest: Lie flat on your back with your legs together and arms out to the sides. Point the toes straight up and be sure the small portion of your back is pressed to the floor.
- With your right hand, bring your right thigh up to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back and hips. Be sure to keep the left leg flat. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Caution: Don’t arch your back
2. Double Knees to Chest
The flexibility of the back muscles and mobility of the spine are important for success in many sports, for both performance and injury prevention. This is a simple stretch that pays a big dividend when it comes to targeting the low back muscles.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs together and feet flat on the floor. Be sure that your back is flat and in full contact with the floor.
- As you lift your legs, lock both arms under your thighs and pull your knees toward your chest. Stop when you feel a stretch to the lower back or if you feel discomfort. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds.
Caution: Do not do this if you feel pain in your low back during the stretch.
Easier: If you find it too challenging to pull both legs up at the same time, keep one foot flat on the floor as you bring one leg to the chest and then alternate.
3. Seated Low Back Rotation
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work and visits to the doctor. This pain often results from a lack of physical activity, which leads to weakened muscles. If you have a tight but otherwise healthy back, perform this stretch slowly and gently for an effective mild stretch.
- Seated low back rotation: Lower back seated on a stability ball or in a chair with your back straight and core tight, begin with your feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides.
- Cross your right leg over your left. Turn your torso and shoulders to the right. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat on the opposite side, with the left leg over the right.