If you aren’t sure if yoga is right for you but you still want to find the best stretches for lower back pain, this is where you should start. If you take away all of the fancy poses and breathing that is done during your yoga practice, you are left with yourself standing or sitting on your mat, stretching. You can practice for hours and not do any more than a few different stretches for your body.
What Are The Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain?
When it comes to finding the best stretches for lower back pain you really have to consider all of the other body parts that need to be loose in order for your back to get the relief it needs. I have compiled a list below of some of my favorites that I have encountered along the way.
The Standing Side Stretch
Start out standing up with your feet hip distance apart, arms straight over your head stretching upwards, and palms facing towards one another.
Next, grab your left wrist with your right hand and slowly begin pull your body so it leans towards the right. Be sure to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and your gaze slightly looking up at a comfortable angle.
After feeling a significant stretch in the muscle that runs down the left side of your back, straighten your arms back up to the sky and begin to pull your right wrist with your left hand and gently lean toward the left.
I like to do this a few times back and forth with my breath allowing my back and spine to work out all the pops
The Interlaced Backward to Forward Bend Stretch
From standing side stretch take your hands and interlace them behind your back, straightening your arms. If you are unable to interlace your hands, try using a towel or a rope as for assistance.
Once you have your hands are interlaced behind your back, begin to straighten your arms to the ground and towards the back wall while slowly leaning back and gazing upwards. As you feel an adequate stretch, begin to lean forward at the hips while releasing your hands to the ground.
While leaning forward you might need to bend your knees a little bit but what you are trying to do is stretch your hamstrings out which are crucial in relieving your back pain.
The Twisting Seated Back Stretch
While in a seated position with a straight back, cross your left leg over your right leg placing your foot next to your thigh and begin to tuck your right leg in towards your center.
Place your right hand on the outside of your left knee and slowly begin to twist your body to the right. Hold for about 30 seconds, going deeper into the stretch with each exhale, and then switch sides.
The Lying Down Hip Stretch
Lying on your back, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the ground. Take your left leg and cross it over your right leg so your ankle rests right below your knee on your upper leg.
Stay here if you feel the stretch in your lower right side of your back into your hip or slowly start to push your left knee away from your body with your left hand. Once you feel a good stretch, release and do the other side.
The Knee to Chest to Supine Twist Stretch
Lying on your back, stretch your left leg straight onto the floor and grab your right leg, however feels comfortable, with both hands and pull your knee towards your left shoulder.
Hold this position for a few seconds and then take your right hand and place it on the outside of your left knee. Gently begin to pull your leg across your body so you are resting with your knee moving towards the ground on the right side of your body.
Turn your head over your left shoulder, straighten your left arm out to the side, and begin to move your left shoulder so it rests on the ground. Once your body is ready, release and do the other side.
The Cobra to Upward Dog Stretch
Start on your stomach with your legs together behind you and your forearms resting at a 90 degree angle against your sides.
Slowly begin to tighten your lower back while lifting your chest off of the ground. You can either keep your hands lightly touching the ground or life them a couple of inches up.
If this feels good then stay here, otherwise you can move to upward dog by placing your arms under your shoulders and begin to straighten them as you arch your back.
The Safety Stretch (Child’s Pose)
Starting on your hands and knees with your knees slightly spread and your big toes touching behind you , begin to slowly bring your butt to touch in between your heels.
You can now either rest your arms on the mat in front of you or down by your sides. If you would like a deeper stretch for your lower back begin to straight your arms out in front of you while only your hands are touching the mat. Reach as far forward as possible while pushing your pelvis and lower back down towards the floor.
Always Go At Your Own Pace
Your body will probably be making sounds that you’ve never heard or felt before such as popping in your back, shoulders, chest, or any other body part that is really tight and that is okay! The way your body releases tension will evolve over time and what once caused you discomfort will eventually feel loose.
However, please make sure not to push yourself too hard too soon. Most of the time popping feels great and relieves a lot of tension but if you feel like your body isn’t ready to move a certain way, listen to it and ease back.
Don’t worry if you aren’t able to go all the way into these stretches, just go until you feel a stretch and then hold it for a few breaths. Your back pain isn’t going away overnight so take your time. It took a year of consistent yoga classes in order for me to start to finally feel relief in my lower back after 15 years of chronic pain.
What is your go to stretch for lower back pain?
Stick With It!