Oct 23, 2020
10 Stretches to Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

Whether you’ve been spending more time on the couch during the COVID-19 pandemic or logging more hours behind a computer desk, most adults — weekend warriors and athletes alike — have felt some sort of lower back pain or discomfort.

Muscular tightness from sitting down too long can pinch nerves and cause aches and pains, according to celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins.

Photo: Toby Otter / Creative Commons

Using her Instagram account, Jenkins shared 10 stretches that she personally uses to loosen up her lower back and hips.

Below is a breakdown of the 10 stretches.

  1. Hip Circles & Hip Side Bends
  2. Overhead Reach Side Bend & Side Bend with Hands Together
  3. Forward Fold with slow roll up (modify with bent knees)
  4. Hip Flexor Stretch & Add Side Bend
  5. Seated Forward Fold & Add Side Reach
  6. Seating Twist Glutes Stretch
  7. Seated Figure Four with Slow Rocking Motion & State Supine Figure Four
  8. Happy Baby Pose
  9. Supine Hamstring Stretch at Knee & Hip
  10. Supine Twist with Extended Leg.

Regularly stretching the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the spine is an important element of all back exercise programs. The benefits include:

  • Reducing tension in muscles supporting the spine; tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions.
  • Improving range of motion and overall mobility.
  • Reducing the risk of disability caused by back pain.

Pain that lasts longer than three months (chronic pain) may require weeks or months of regular stretching to successfully reduce pain. Stretches may be included as part of a physical therapy program, and/or recommended to be done at home on a daily basis.

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Here are some tips for stretching to keep in mind to effectively get the most out of each stretch without causing further damage.

  • Wear comfortable clothing that won’t bind or constrict movements
  • Do not force the body into difficult or painful positions — stretching 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 (15 to 30 seconds) to adequately lengthen muscles and improve range of motion1
  • Repeat a stretch between 2 and 5 times — a muscle usually reaches maximum elongation after about 4 repetitions
  • Stretch one side of the body at a time

To get more videos and tips from Jenkins, check out her Instagram page here

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