The Correct Stretching Sequence to ease Lower Back Pain.

So many of my clients first come to me complaining of recurring back pain. On top of introducing core stability exercises to their workouts I find that the correct stretching sequence tends to ease off pressure in the lower back. The most common misconception people have when stretching their lower back is stretching either their back first or only their back, yet all this is doing is attempting to fix the problem but ignoring the cause. So, you will get temporary relief but the problem will come back. These stretches will ease off the muscles in the lower back but only if you do them in this particular sequence! (don’t mix them around or skip any that you find particularly hard or annoying).

Stretch 1- Soleus stretch; In order to stretch you right leg start by standing up straight leaning forward resting against a wall with your right leg bent and the majority of your weight resting on your right leg, keeping the heel flat on the floor. rest the left leg behind it. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce) then alternate legs. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

Stretch 2- Gastrocnemius stretch; In order to stretch your right leg start by standing up straight leaning forward resting against a wall keep your right leg straight behind you, pushing your knee back and keeping your heel on the floor with all your weight resting on your right leg. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce) then alternate legs. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

Stretch 2- Hamstring stretch; In order to stretch your right leg start by standing up straight, keeping your right leg straight & resting the majority of your weight on your right leg, place your left leg over your right and gently lean forward, bending at the waist and keeping your back straight aiming at placing your palms flat on the floor then grab onto your calf and pull your chest towards your knees. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce) then alternate legs. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

Stretch 3- Quadriceps stretch; In order to stretch your right leg start by standing up on your left leg holding something to brace yourself. Bend your right leg behind you grabbing your foot & touch your heel to your bum. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce) then alternate legs. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

Stretch 4- Hip flexor stretch; In order to stretch your right leg start by placing your right knee flat on the floor with your left leg bent and your left foot flat on the floor and pushing the right side of your hip to the ground.  Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce) then alternate legs. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

Stretch 5- Gluteas maximus (your bottom) stretch; In order to stretch the right side of your glutes lay on you back with your left leg straight and your right knee bent with your right foot resting on your left knee. Grab your left leg at either the calf or the ankle and gently pull your left leg back towards yourself. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce) then alternate legs. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

Stretch 6- Back extensor stretch; Sit down on your bum with your left leg straight and your right leg bent over you left leg with your right foot flat on the floor. Keeping your bottom flat on the floor place your left elbow on the right side of your right knee and your right hand flat on the floor as far behind you as possible and turning your head to your left and trying to get your left shoulder as far as you can behind you. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce). then without changing legs change sides. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce). Then change legs and sides. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce). Then without changing legs change sides. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

The next 2 stretches require a fitball, if you don’t have one or can not access one they can be omitted.

Stretch 7- Psoas stretch; Lay on your back on a fitball with your heels on the floor and your arms resting out behind you. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

     Stretch 8- Oblique stretch; In order to stretch your obliques on your left side lay on your right side on the fitball, keeping the ball in your curve and your feet spread apart, with your right foot behind you and your left foot in front aiming at keeping your hips square. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce). Then change sides. Hold for a minimum of 20 seconds (don’t bounce).

 

Remember it’s easy to get fit, it’s just hard work.

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