If you’re experiencing back pain or are at high risk of developing issues with the soft tissue around your spine, there are many things you can do to relieve the pain and prevent future complications. The health of your spine is a serious matter that affects the functioning of your whole body and it should not be taken lightly – if your current job or training routine requires you to put too much stress on certain parts of your back, it’s best to take a step back and focus on healing and revitalizing your overloaded muscles before it gets too late.
Discomfort, pain, stiffness and a limited range of motion are one of the basic features of an injured back. And a key part of the process of restoring your back’s health and flexibility are stretches.
The type and frequency of stretching should be planned out carefully, because stretching too hard or too often could worsen the pain instead of eliminating it. A general rule is that stretching should be pain free and you shouldn’t force your body into difficult positions. Also, stretches are designed to be performed slowly and in a controlled manner, with holding certain parts of the movement for a few moments in order to allow the muscles or joints to become loose.
We’ve assembled a list of 6 most efficient stretches that involve different body parts that directly influence your back muscles. These stretches will help you alleviate almost any type of back pain, eliminate tension, warm up your muscles and relax your whole body.
#1. Forward Bend
Place a chair in front of you and put your hands on it, backing up slightly. Bend forward and allow your head to drop between the arms. Hold the position for one minute.
#2. Hip Flexor Lunge
From a standing position, step forward with your right leg, making sure that your left leg is pulled back and your left knee is lowered to the floor in a lunge position. Hold it for 30 seconds, then return to the standing position and repeat the movement with the other leg, again holding the end position for 30 seconds.
#3. Supine Spinal Twist
Lay down on your back and bend both legs at the knees. Then, drop your legs to the left side, while turning the upper part of your body to the right side, allowing for a good spine twist. Hold the position for 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
#4. Knee to Chest Stretch
Lay down on your back with both legs extended. Bend your right knee, grab it with both hands and gently pull it toward your chest until you feel a decent stretch. Hold the final position for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
#5. Quad Stretch
Lay down on the ground on your right side with one leg on top of the other. Making sure that both knees are touching each other, bend your left knee and grab your left ankle with your left hand. Gently pull it as much as you can without making it too uncomfortable. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
#6. Hamstring Stretch
Lay down on your back with both legs extended. Bend your right knee and place both hands on the back of the right leg. Lift the leg up, pulling the knee close to the chest. Extend the leg upwards. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Put your leg down and perform the exercise with the other leg.