Easy Lower Back Stretches to Ease Tension Quickly
We’ve all experienced the nagging pain in our lower backs that disrupts our sleep and keeps us from doing the things we love. Sitting for long hours, poor posture, or physical strain causes muscle tension and is often the root of lower back pain. It can be exhausting to experience constant back pain, but the good news is there are simple and effective lower back stretches to help you feel better quickly.
There are many benefits to stretching after a long day. Here are five of our favorite easy lower back stretches to ease tension fast:
It’s a slow and gentle stretch that relaxes the lower back, hips, and thighs. It’s one of the best lower back stretches you can do. If kneeling is painful, you can modify this activity by placing a firm chair in front of a coffee table or other low surfaces.
- Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and your toes touching.
- Slowly lower your buttocks towards your heels.
- Place your palms flat on the floor.
- Slowly extend your arms in front of you while resting your forehead on the floor.
- Take several deep breaths and allow your lower back to relax and stretch with each breath.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds or more before slowly lifting your arms, forehead, and upper body back to a kneeling position.
- Repeat as needed, trying to stretch a little deeper and further each time.
A simple movement that helps release lower back tension and improves spine flexibility and mobility.
- Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Begin by arching your back towards the ceiling, dropping your head down, and tucking your tailbone. This arching is the “Cat” position.
- Slowly move into the “Cow” position by gently dropping your belly towards the floor, lifting your head and tailbone, and gently letting your lower back curve.
- Repeat the Cat-Cow stretch for a few rounds, coordinating the movement with your breath.
It’s excellent for relieving tightness in the lower back and hips. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your back with your legs extended in front of you.
- Slowly bring one knee towards your chest, grasping your thigh or shin with both hands.
- Gently pull the knee closer to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Return to a fully extended position and take a few deep breaths.
- Then repeat with the other leg.
- Repeat this stretch a few times on each side, remembering to breathe deeply and stretch both legs evenly.
Lower Trunk Rotation
Eases tension and pain in your lower back by increasing flexibility in the muscles that rotate your torso.
- Lie on your back with both knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms out to the sides.
- Bring the ankles and knees together.
- Slowly let your legs fall to the left while stabilizing your upper trunk.
- Allow your lower back and hips to stretch gently.
- Return your legs to the center position.
- Take a few deep breaths before repeating on the other side.
- Repeat 2-3 times on each side, alternating sides as you go.
Neck and Chest Stretch
It helps ease the pain and tightness caused by hunching over, bad posture, or weakness in the muscles that keep us upright. Tension in your neck and shoulders can stress your trunk muscles and create lower back pain.
- Sit on the floor with your back straight and your feet flat.
- Place your hands on the base of your skull and intertwine your fingers.
- Rest your thumbs on your neck, pointing down towards your collarbone.
- Slowly tip your head back and point your face to the ceiling.
- Inhale and exhale deeply.
- While holding your head, arms, and hands in the same position, turn one shoulder towards the floor on the exhale.
- Take 1-2 deep breaths before slowly returning your head to an upright position.
- Then drop the right elbow on the exhale and hold for 1-2 breaths.
- Slowly return to the center and take 1-2 deep breaths.
- Repeat 2-3 times on each side, alternating sides as you go.
Perfect Spots For Stretching in San Diego
San Diego offers many beautiful spots perfect for stretching, whether you’re just looking to unwind or preparing for a workout. Here are some scenic places that would be perfect for doing lower back stretches or any workout routine:
- Balboa Park: Balboa Park is one of San Diego’s best spots for exercise. It has miles of scenic walking trails, beautiful gardens, and wide-open spaces. You can easily find a quiet spot to stretch and relax.
- La Jolla Shores: This stunning beach provides a calm and serene environment perfect for stretching. Early mornings or late evenings offer the tranquility you need for a meditative stretch.
- Mission Bay Park: This park offers a wide range of outdoor workout spots and is a popular place for jogging, biking, and yoga. The vast, grassy areas near the bay are ideal for a good stretch.
- Sunset Cliffs Natural Park: Enjoy a great stretch while watching the waves crash against the cliffs. This park offers breathtaking views, especially at sunset.
- Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve: Offering hiking trails and a beachfront, this reserve provides a peaceful backdrop for your stretch routine.
- The Embarcadero Marina Parks (North and South): Both parks provide stunning views of the bay and downtown San Diego. They have wide-open spaces perfect for stretching and yoga.
- Various Yoga Studios: If you prefer an indoor space, San Diego has many yoga studios that offer classes suitable for all levels. Studios like CorePower Yoga, Yoga One, and Trilogy Sanctuary provide excellent environments for stretching and yoga.
*Remember to respect public spaces and adhere to any rules or regulations. If you’re stretching in a public park or beach, ensure not to obstruct walking paths or other recreational activities.
Adding some or all of these lower back stretches to your personal wellness plan will help ease the muscle tension that is the most common cause of lower back pain!
Lower back stretches should always be gentle and slow. Keep the movement smooth, and don’t overexert your body. If your lower back pain worsens or other issues arise, reach out to your primary care provider for a check-up!
Do you want more information on practical tips and healthy activities in San Diego? Check out our articles.