Lower Back Stretches

How do I know if my Lower Back is sufficiently Flexible?
Lie down on the floor and hug your knees into your chest. If your knees are a million miles away from your chest, you probably have inflexible lower back muscles. Another way of telling is to sit down on the floor with straight legs, and try and have your knees flat on the ground. If you lean forward from your waist you should have sufficient flexibility in your lower spine and pelvis to allow your hands to reach your toes or at least your ankles. If you are flexible you may reach your head onto your knees without raising your knees.

If your lower back (the lumbar region of your spine) is very stiff, your normal mobility can be impeded and this may cause muscles to weaken. You may feel pain or stiffness, have poor posture, back problems and a higher risk of injury when exercising or just moving for the remote!

You can always improve your flexibility with appropriate stretching which we focus on at Pilates in St Albans. You can achieve this irrelevant of age or genetics. To start, stretch at least 3 times a week. You should always stretch within your own comfort levels. Do not over stretch or bounce as this may tear muscles or tendons, or cause hyperextension of a joint which is where the joint moves beyond its normal limit.


Pelvic Tilts To mobilise your pelvis stand upright, keep your feet and knees hip width apart and gently tilt your pelvis forward and then gently change direction and tilt the pelvis backwards. Do this ten times, very slowly, whilst keeping your head, neck and spine tall.

Knee Hug Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Use your breathing to gently and comfortably increase the stretch. Each time you breathe out hug your knees a couple of mms closer into your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Hip Sway Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rotate your hips slowly and with control to the left, lowering your legs down to the floor (or near the floor) until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the right side.

Back Extension Lie on your stomach and push yourself up on to your elbows extending your back only within your own comfort limits. Start straightening your elbows, further extending your back if you can. Continue straightening your elbows until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds whilst gently breathing. Return to your starting position and repeat up to 2 times.

Cat Stretch Place yourself in four point kneeling (or table top position). Breathe out and pull in your core muscles as your arch up your back allowing your head to follow your spine position and follow down in between your arms. Hold whilst engaging your core muscles and breathing gently. Then breathe in and return to flat back or arch downwards, gently flowing and working within your own comfort levels.


 Kneew Hug