5/02/2013

5 STRETCH EXERCISES FOR YOUR LOWER BACK

Do you end your day with a tensed, stiff and sore lower back? 

Lower back pains are common with most people. Pains in the lower back arise when the muscles in that region are strained. Poor sitting posture and lifting heavy items are examples of actions that could lead to a muscle strain in the lower back. Exercise can help relief pains and prevent injuries in the lower back. If the pains are, however, severe, it is advisable to seek medical attention. If you also experience pains while performing the following exercises, you should stop. These exercises should be done gently. 



Back Extensions: Lie on your stomach, and support yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine. Keep your shoulders back and neck long. 

Movement: Arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in the abdominal muscles as you arch backwards. Breathe and hold for five seconds and then relax. Do eight repetitions. 

Safety tips: Do not throw your head backwards while stretching. 
Back Extensions
Pelvic lifts: Lie on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in. 

Movement: Gently flatten your lower back into the floor and contract your stomach muscles. Lift your pelvis upwards and towards your heels until you feel a gentle arch in your lower back. Hold the stretch for five seconds,and then relax. Do 10 repetitions, tilting your pelvis back and forth in a slow rocking motion. 

Tips: Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed.

Pelvic Lifts
Hamstring stretch: Lie on your back with both legs straight. 

Movement: lift your right leg up and pull towards your chest. Hold for about 10 seconds and then alternate legs. 

Hamstring Stretch
Knees-to-chest: Lie on your back with both legs straight. Bring one knee up to your chest, pressing your back into the floor (pelvic tilt). Hold for ten seconds. Do eight repetitions and then switch legs. 

Knees-to-chest
Knee rolls: Lie on your back. Keep your knees bent and together, and stretch both arms sideways. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in. 

Movement: Roll your knees to one side, followed by your pelvis, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Hold the stretch for five seconds. Do eight repetitions and then alternate sides.

Knee Rolls
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