Fitness Friday: 3 Simple Stretches to Alleviate Low Back Pain
SINGLE KNEE TO CHEST
Lie on your back with your feet flat and knees bent. You may notice there is a natural curve in your spine, so flatten your lower back completely onto the floor. Pull one knee toward your chest with your hands and relax through your hips. You may feel this stretch in your hamstrings and glutes, but it also helps stretch the lower back. If you are more advanced, you can straighten your other leg to the floor. To really take things to the next level, bring both knees to your chest. Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, then switch legs and repeat on the other side.
THREE-PART HAMSTRING STRETCH– You’ll need a strap or belt for this one.
Part one: Sitting on the floor, bend your right knee and place the strap beneath your right foot. Carefully lie down on your back, straightening your right leg toward the sky. Keep your left leg flat on the floor. You will feel this stretch in your hamstrings.
Part two: This move will stretch your inner thighs. Remaining in the same position, stretch your left arm directly out to the side. Keeping your right leg straight, slowly drop your left leg to the right as far as you comfortably can.
Part three: Bring your leg back to center and switch hands so your left hand is now holding the strap. Straighten your left leg and pull your right leg across the midline of your body to the left side, with minimal twisting in your spine.
Hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat all three moves on the other leg.
FIGURE FOUR STRETCH
Lying on your back with knees bent, cross your left ankle over your right knee. Lift your right leg off the floor and place your hand behind your thigh, pulling your leg back toward your upper body. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat on the other leg.