I suffer with low back pain and feel it pretty much every day. I especially have problems if I have been sat down for long periods of time. I can feel my low right part of my back getting harder like concrete setting and the pain creeping down through my hips and across through my gluteal muscles and into my low back.
Therefore, I have to get up and stretch frequently. Sometimes if I am out in public and need to stretch I break into some side stretches, hamstring stretches or a forward bend.
It’s true, I may have had a couple of strange looks from people from time to time, but I don’t care. My philosophy is that if you need to stretch you need to stretch and that it is not important to think about what other people think about you.
My Wing Chun teacher told me that Bruce Lee always to stretch regularly. When they used to talk he used to stand there with his leg up on the table stretching out his hamstrings or any other muscle he felt like stretching at the time. He understood the importance of flexibility and muscular fitness and was not ashamed to stretch when he needed to.
I think we should all be a bit more like Bruce Lee as we underestimate the importance of stretching. We all sit down far too much; we commute to work sitting down, we get to work to sit down for hours upon end and then we commute back to then go home and sit down.
80% of the population are experiencing issues with low back pain and this issue is causing huge problems within our society. I really think that it’s time we start becoming more pro-active with our health and fitness and stretch more frequently.
A study on lorry drivers that suffered from chronic low back pain were divided into three groups. Group A were allowed to stretch and have rest stops, group B only rest breaks and the last group was for reference. Pain severity was recorded at the beginning of the test and then after a 6 and 12-week period.
The study concluded that group A had a significant reduction in pain than the other two groups. This goes to show that stretching will help decrease pain and discomfort over a long period of time.
I am always stretching, I feel an amazing amount of relief from performing low back exercises.
Click here to read more about the benefits of stretching.
Here are The 10 low back exercises
- Lay flat on the floor and put your hands flat by your rib cage.
- Breathe in and push up gently whilst exhaling into the movement.
- You should arch your back and lift your head and chin up for added stretch.
- Starting on all fours, breathe in and then exhale lifting your opposite arm and leg.
- Hold both at the same height for 10 seconds and then lower to the floor.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Repeat 2 – 4 times
- Start by laying on the floor. Breathe in and on the exhalation push back on your heels and raise the bum to the sky and keep your hands on the ground.
- Make sure your back in flat and you are pushing away with your arms.
- Hold the position for 10 -20 seconds.
- Walk your feet in and roll up to standing slowly.
Hip flexor stretch
- Kneel on one knee in a lunge position with your other knee behind your ankle.
- Breath in and exhale into the movement taking your knee over ankle and into the stretch.
- You will feel and stretch in your hip flexor.
- Hold for 10 – seconds then release and swap sides. Repeat 2 – 4 times
- Start on all fours breathe in and exhale up sticking your head up and tail bone out creating an arch in your back.
- Hold for ten seconds
- Release by breathing in and exhaling out and tucking the tailbone under, head under and curving your spine.
- Repeat 3 – 5 times.
- Standing up straight whilst focusing on your posture breathe in, raise your arms above your head, exhale and front fold to the floor.
- Try to keep your legs straight if you feel that you can’t then do not go as low to the floor.
- Roll yourself up slowly, one vertebrae at a time to a stand tall position.
- Repeat as many times as you like
- Lay flat on the floor with your hands down by your side. Take a deep breath in, exhale on the movement and raise your hips to the sky.
- Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly release to the floor.
- Repeat 3 – 5 times.
- Lay flat on the floor and inhale, exhale out and into the movement and lift your arms and your legs into the sky.
- Hold the legs and arms up for 10 seconds then lower them to the ground.
- Repeat this 3-5 times
- Start by kneeling on the floor and sit up straight.
- Inhale and exhale into the movement and raise your arms above your head on the floor.
- Hold for whoever long you want.
Low back twist
- Lay flat on the floor and bring one of your knees up to your chest.
- Inhale and the exhale into the movement floating the knee to the side of the body.
- The opposite arm lies out on the floor in line with your shoulder blade.
- Hold the movement for 10 – 20 seconds.
- Bring the knee back into the stomach and then repeat on the other side.
FLOOR Hamstring stretches
- Lay flat on the floor.
- Breathe in and exhale into the movement by bringing the straight leg up towards your head.
- Try to keep the leg on the floor straight and also the leg that is in the air.
- Hold for 10-20 seconds a side and then swap leg.
To begin with stretch once a day then work up to three times. Be careful not to stretch too much. Always listen to your body and if you feel that you are maybe taking the stretch too far and your body is trying to tell you something and back off.
If you would like to learn more about low back pain then click HERE to read the post.
I hope these low back exercises help you like they do me.
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World Health Organization Website – Low back pain Janet K. Freburger, PT, PhD,1,2 George M. Holmes, PhD,1 Robert P. Agans, PhD,3,4 Anne M. Jackman, MSW,1Jane D. Darter, BA,1 Andrea S. Wallace, RN, PhD,5 Liana D. Castel, PhD,1 William D. Kalsbeek, PhD,3,4 andTimothy S. Carey, MD, MPH1,6, The Rising Prevalence Of Chronic Low Back Pain Waddell G , 1987 Volvo award in clinical sciences. A new clinical model for the treatment of low-back pain Frymoyer J W; Pope, M H; Clements, J H; Wilder, D G; Macpherson, B; Ashikaga, T - Risk factors in low back pain. An Epidemiological survey.