Stretching is an important part of a well-rounded back exercise routine to prevent lower back pain and treat injury. Stretching suggestions provided by the back and neck specialists at the KBNI.

Stretches For Lower Back Pain Prevention And Treatment

A thorough warm up is absolutely essential to every workout and is important to loosen up muscles and prevent injury. You should follow your warm up with some gentle stretching. Do not force your stretches, just relax and let your body stretch as far as it can comfortably stretch.

Below are some examples of low-back stretches.

REMINDER: Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. If pain develops, stop immediately and notify your physician.

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Components of a Good Exercise Routine

  • Leg Stretches
  • Back Stretches
  • Groin Stretches
  • Butt/Hip Stretch

Leg Stretches

Double and Single Leg Pulls
Lay flat on your back. Keep your left leg straight and bend your right leg. Grab your right knee and gently pull it towards your chest. Repeat for the other leg. For double leg, grab both knees and pull towards your chest.

Leg Stretching: double and single leg pulls lying  Leg Stretching: double and single leg pulls lying Leg Stretching: double and single leg pulls lying

Stiff-Legged Pull-Ins
This is similar to Stretch 1 but your leg is now straight. Grab the back of your leg behind your knee and pulling that towards your chest.

Leg Stretching: stiff-legged pull-ins Leg Stretching: stiff-legged pull-ins Leg Stretching: stiff-legged pull-ins

Double Toe Touch
Stand straight up with feet together. Slowly and gently lower your arms down and reach for your toes. You will bend at the waist for this stretch. Keep your knees close to straight and you can have a slight bend at the knees. Hold stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Leg Stretching: Double toe touch Leg Stretching: Double toe touch Leg Stretching: Double toe touch

Crossed-Leg Toe Touch
Similar to Double Toe Touch. Place your right foot on the other side of your left foot. Bend at the waist and reach for your toes. You will have a slight bend at the knees. Be careful with this stretch because you will be off balance. Stand next to something you can grab onto if you lose your balance.

Leg Stretching: Crossed-leg toe touch Leg Stretching: Crossed-leg toe touch Leg Stretching: Crossed-leg toe touch

Leg Stretching: Sit and Reach
Sit on your butt with your legs spread apart. Reach both hands for your right foot while you are leaning over at the waist. Your upper body should be over your right leg. Hold stretch for 10-30 seconds and switch to your left leg. After you have completed the stretch with each leg, lean to the middle and grab both legs.

Leg Stretching: Sit and reach Leg Stretching: Sit and reach

Back Stretches

Seated Cross-Over Leg Stretch
Sit on your butt with legs straight and together. Bend your right leg and place your right foot on the left side of your knee, keeping your left leg straight. With your left hand, reach as far back as possible behind you and place your hand firmly behind you. Take your right elbow, place it on the left side of your left knee and gently twist your upper body as if you are trying to look behind yourself. Hold for 10-30 sec and repeat on the other side.

Back Stretching: Seated cross-over leg stretch Back Stretching: Seated cross-over leg stretch Back Stretching: Seated cross-over leg stretch

Precore Low Back Stretch
Sit on the machine and place your hands in the safety straps. Grab the top rail with your palms facing the ground and gently ease your body to the floor leading with your butt.

Back Stretching: Precore Low Back Stretch

Precore Upper Back Stretch
Sit on the machine and place your hands in the safety straps. Grab onto the bottom rail with your palms facing up. Gently ease your body to the floor leading with your butt.

Back Stretching: Precore Upper Back Stretch

Laying Twisting Stretch
Lay flat on the ground with both legs straight and arms by your side. Put your right elbow on the ground on your right side. Take your straight right leg and extend it across your body over your straight left leg. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat with the left leg.

 Back Stretching: Laying twisting stretch  Back Stretching: Laying twisting stretch  Back Stretching: Laying twisting stretch

Groin Stretches

Buddha Stretch
Sit on the ground and bring your feet together in front of you, bottoms of your feet touching. You want your heels as close to your pelvic area as possible. Grab your toes with both hands and pull in on your feet while pushing your legs down toward the floor with your elbows.

Groin Stretching: Buddha Stretch

Precore Groin/Hip Stretch
This stretch is very similar to Groin Stretch 1. Sit on the machine and place your hands in the safety straps. Bring your feet in towards your pelvic area. Place the bottoms of your feet together and bring your heels as close to your pelvic area as possible. Grab the bottom rail with your palms facing down and gently ease your body towards the floor leading with your butt.

Groin Stretching: Precore Groin/Hip Stretch

Butt/Hip Stretch

Butt/Hip Stretch
Sit down. Keep your left leg straight and bring your right foot in towards your pelvic area. With your left hand, grab the right side of your right foot and with your right hand, grab the shin of your right leg. Gently pull your foot towards your stomach.

Butt/Hip Stretching: Butt/Hip Stretch
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For more information on the benefits of Stretching or for a consultation at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute please call:

281.44.NEURO (281.446.3876)