If you find that you frequently suffer from lower back pain, you are among the 80 percent of people in this country who experience back pain at some point in their life. Lower back pain becomes more prominent as you age or put on weight. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help relieve your back pain and make it a thing of the past.
Performing stretching exercises and yoga can help relieve lower back pain. In fact, regular stretching can help your whole body loosen up and reduce tight muscles which can contribute greatly to body aches and pains. Yoga, on the other hand, is known for its many mental and physical benefits and can help you achieve increased strength, flexibility, while also reducing stress.
So, the next time you suffer from lower back pain, try out these exercises for quick and easy relief. Better yet, develop an exercise and yoga routine that takes advantage of the various stretching exercise and yoga poses so that you can stop pain before it even starts.
1) Seer Pose
For the seer pose, sit on the ground with your legs extended forward. Bend your right leg and place it across your left leg. Bend the left leg at the knee and place it behind your body. Placing your left hand on your right knee, twist to the right, using your right hand for stability. Hold for 10 seconds before switching sides.
2) Lower Back Rotational Stretches
For this stretch, start by lying on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. With shoulders square to the ceiling and arms outstretched, roll your knees to one side. hold for 15 seconds before rotating your knees to the opposite side. Repeat two to three times.
3) Half Split Pose
For this pose, drop your right knee to the ground in a low lunge position. Lean back, resting your weight on your right hip and knee. Stretch out your left leg so that the heel is resting on the ground. Lean forward and drop your palms to the ground. Hold for 10 seconds before switching side.
4) Triangle Pose
The triangle pose is an easy one to maintain. Simply stand straight up with you feet 3 to 4 1/2 feet apart. Turn your back foot at a 75- to 90-degree angle while keeping your front leg forward. Reach down and touch your back foot while raising your other arm straight into the air. Gaze up at your upper hand and hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
5) Supported Bridge Pose
The supported bridge pose is much easier on your back than the regular bridge pose. For this pose, lay flat on your back with a block, bolster, or folded blanket under the small of your back. Release the weight of your pelvis onto the support while also resting the weight of your shoulders on the ground. Hold for 10 seconds, repeating 15 times.
6) Bridge Pose
This pose starts with you lying on your back. Bend your knees and press your feet into the floor, raising your butt off of the ground, while keeping your arms by your side. Form a straight line from the shoulders to the knees. Lower your buttocks to the floor for a few seconds before raising them again. Repeat 15 times. Do three sets, resting for 1 minute in between each set.
7) Superman Pose Variant
Lay flat on your stomach feet extended straight behind you with your chin resting on the floor. Lay your arms straight down beside your body with your palms facing straight up. Lift your legs off of the ground as high as you can, holding for 10 seconds. Repeat 15 times.
8) Reclined Supine Pose with a Twist
For this stretch, start by lying on your back. Pull both knees to your chest and then drop them to one side as you twist your torso in the opposite direction. Make sure to keep your hips in line with the floor and your chess square to the ceiling. Hold for one to three minutes before repeating on the other side.
9) Line Twist Stretch
For this stretch, lay flat on the floor with legs extended. Bend one knee slightly and twist your hips so that leg is on top. Place your arm on that side straight out and twist your upper body opposite of your leg. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side. Perform this exercise three times per side.
10) Warrior III Pose
For the warrior III pose, stand with your feet flat on the ground. Step back with your left leg into a lunge and slightly bend your right leg. Lean forward so that your torso is at a right angle to your right thigh while reaching out with your hands past your head. Lift the left leg off of the floor and hold the pose for 5 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
11) Side Plank
The side plank can help you strengthen your back muscles to prevent them from getting injured as easily. Start in the downward dog position. Turn your entire body so that only the left hand and outer edge of the foot are touching the ground. Lift your right hand upwards and hold for 10 seconds. Return to the downward dog pose and repeat on the other side.
12) Knees to Chest with a Slow Rock
To give yourself a nice, natural body weight massage, lay on your back. Pull both of your knees up to your chest and hold them in place with your arms. Then, slowly begin to rock back and forth, doing so for one to three minutes.
13) Seated Forward Fold
For this exercise, sit with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend at the hips touching your forehead to your legs. If needed, elevate you hips by sitting on a yoga bolster to help release your hamstrings. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds before sitting back up.
14) Sphinx Pose
For this pose lay flat on your stomach with your legs extended out behind you. Place your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor, lifting your chest up in the process. Hold this pose while pressing your hips and thighs into the floor for one to three minutes.
15) Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend
For this exercise, stand with your feet 3 to 4 1/2 feet apart. Place your hands on your hips and lean forward from the hips. As you draw parallel to the floor with your torso, reach out and press your fingertips into the floor directly below your shoulders. Stay in this pose for about 30 seconds before lifting your torso back up, resting your hands on your hips as you finish.
16) Standing Forward Bend Pose
Not as intense as downward dog, this pose requires the same positioning, except you can bend your knees slightly, making sure your feet are shoulder width apart. Hang down with your arms touching the floor and relax your chin into your chest. Hold this pose for one to three minutes.
17) Partial Curls
Another exercise that you perform while laying down, partial curls require you to bend your knees while placing your feet flat on the floor and hip with apart. Interlace your hands behind your head gently raise your head and shoulders 2 inches off the ground, holding for 5 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times, performing three total sets of 10.
18) Downward Facing Dog Pose
This pose is great for stretching the back of your legs. Start with your feet and hands on the floor with your butt in the air. Lower your heels toward the ground while relaxing your head between your arms. Controlling your breathing, stay in this pose for one to three minutes.
19) Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretches
For this stretch you can sit in a chair. While keeping your feet flat on the floor place your hands behind your head, elbows out. Twist at the waist to one side and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side. Perform this stretch three to five times per side.
20) Cat/Cow Pose
For this yoga pose, get on your hands and knees. Start by arching your spine up towards the sky while dropping your head. Follow this by lifting your head toward the sky and allowing your abdomen to fall down as you arch your back. Do this for one to three minutes, making sure to inhale on the stretch and exhale on the release.
21) Superman Stretch
For this stretch, lay face down on your stomach, your arms and legs extended. Raise both hands and feet into the air so that you are in a flying position, aiming for a height of six inches from the floor. Hold for two seconds before releasing. Repeat 10 times.
22) Caterpillar Pose
For this pose, sit on the ground with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Place a rolled yoga mat or folded blanket underneath your knees. Place a folded blanket on the top of your knees. Bend at the hips, resting your head on the blanket while placing your hands beside your legs. Hold for 10 seconds, repeating 15 times.
23) Chair Pose
For the chair pose, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat at a 45 to 75 degree angle and drop your butt down and in. Reach up with your hands, keeping your biceps in line with your ears, and hold for 10 seconds. You can also rest your hands on your thighs to make this pose a little easier.
24) Easy Pose
For the easy pose sit on the ground with your legs bent and crossed at the shins. Extend your hands straight over your head and interlace your fingers. Stretch upwards, holding for 10 seconds. Repeat this 15 times.
25) Lying Lateral Leg Lifts
For this exercise, lay on your side with your legs together, keeping the lower leg slightly bent. Raise your top leg about 18 inches while keeping it straight. Hold for two seconds before lowering it back down. Repeat 10 times before rolling over and doing the same on the other side. Perform three sets of 10 on each side.
26) Piriformis Stretch
For this stretch, lie on your back and place one leg onto the knee of the other leg. Pull your crossed leg as far back as comfortable until you feel a slight stretch in your back. Repeat this three to five times before switching legs.
27) Pelvic Tilts
For the pelvic tilt exercise lay flat on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground with your hands flat by your sides. Pushing up with your feet thrust your hips slightly into the air. Hold for 5 seconds before lowering your butt back to the floor. Perform 30 repetitions.
28) Single Knee to Chest
To reduce hip tightness, lay on your back and pull your knee toward your chest until you feel a light stretch. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds before repeating with the other leg. Do this three to five times per leg.
29) Draw-In Maneuver
For this stretch, lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Placing your hands on your abdomen, draw-in the muscles of your abdominal muscles toward your spine, exhaling as you do so. Hold for 15 seconds before releasing. Perform three sets of 15.
30) Prayer Stretch
To get into this stretch, tuck your legs underneath your body and bend forward at the waist. Extend your arms in front of your body while lowering your head to the floor. Repeat three to five times.
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By using these easy to use stretching exercises and yoga poses, you can quickly relieve lower back pain. Keep in mind not to overdo any exercise and ask your doctor or fitness trainer any questions if you have them to avoid any potential injury.