The lower back is part of a chain of muscles called the Posterior Chain. The posterior chain is a training term that refers to the muscles of your back body, including the muscles of your low back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. When you sit for long periods of time on a daily basis, your posterior chain diminishes if corrective action is not taken. Your hamstrings shorten, your hip flexors shorten, you stop activating your glutes (a.k.a- desk butt), and your lower back stiffens. Stretching just your lower back may not relieve the pain if you do not stretch the other links in the chain as one.
Try this stretch to help stretch and alleviate your lower back pain.
Step #1: Warm Up
A good warm up will maximize the stretch & will prevent injury. Start with a brisk 5 minute walk. Take your dog for a walk and if you don’t have a dog, take yourself for a walk and enjoy the light cardio. 🙂
Step #2: Find a empty wall.
Locate and empty wall that you can place your feet upright. If you live in a tight spot then move some furniture around. Place a mat or blanket down. (Not necessary but used for comfort.)
Step #3: Feet Up the Wall!
Sit down as close as you can to the wall, next to your mat or blanket. Lie down on your back, place your feet on the wall with your knees bent, and scoot your body over so that your bottom and lower back are on the blanket.
Have your Glutes pulled close to the wall, legs going straight up from the hips, Knees are locked out (Straightened), toes are pulled back, and waist is slightly elevated from the ground.
Step #4: Pull Hips Down!
As you pull your toes back and straighten your knees, pull your hips down towards the ground. This will begin to stretch your posterior chain. You may not feel the lower back stretch at first, but just like a chain with a weak link you will feel the muscle in the chain that needs to be stretched first. In order to effectively alleviate back pain you must work through each link in the chain.
Step #5: Hold for 3 minutes!
Grab your stopwatch, timer, wall clock, cell phone, or have your partner to start counting and time yourself for 3 minutes doing this stretch with continuous hip pressure to the ground, knees straightened, and toes pulled down. This will maximize the effectiveness of the stretch & make it long lasting!
If you have a very tight back and cannot bring your glutes up to the wall without raising your hips very high, then you need to sit further back. You must be able to feel your waist press against the ground while your legs are up!
This is a sign that you must stretch and stretch often. Your lower back and hamstrings are tight and your posterior chain needs work!
If you already have a healthy posterior chain but want to use this stretch to maintain their lower back mobility. You may progress this stretch further by placing a foam roller between your feet and the wall. This will allow your posterior chain to bend back towards your body in an angle greater than the wall. This will maximize the posterior chain stretch further.
Commit to doing this stretch daily and watch your lower back flexibility improve!
An effective core training program will help strengthen your lower back and naturally compliment this stretch. Contact GFit Today and ask how you can qualify for a free consultation today!
Cheers to Healthy Backs!!!