Whether you’re walking, running, exercising, working construction, or sitting at your office desk, your back is under a lot of stress every day. To keep your body working, it is vital that you keep your back in shape to reduce chances of back pain and maintain overall body health. Here are 5 stretches that will help you.
Before getting into these stretches, there are a few simple steps to ensure that you are stretching properly and not increasing any back pain.
- Wear loose fitting clothing that allows free movement
- Do not force your body into a painful position
- Stretch your body slowly and do not bounce (bouncing may tear your muscles)
- Use a clean, flat surface that will allow free movement
- Remember to take deep breaths
- Hole each stretch for 20-30 seconds
While on your back, hold both knees together and pull them towards your chest. Push your lower back slowly into the floor. Repeat this exercise 5-10 times while keeping your lower back in position for at least 20-30 seconds.
Side Knee Drop
While in the above position, hold your knees with one hand and extend the other to a chair or table and hold it while you gently drop your legs to the opposite side. Now switch. Alternate between the two sides and keep breathing. Stay in each position for a count of ten.
While on all fours, put your hands directly under your shoulders with arms fully extended. Keep your knees a hip width apart. Starting with your back flattened, pull in your abs and slowly arch it upward as high as you can and hold position for a ten count. Reverse the position by pushing your abs to the floor and arching your back in the opposite direction and hold. Repeat this stretch 5-10 times. Remember to keep your neck straight and your head facing to the floor.
Counter Top Stretch
Find a waist high counter top and place your hands on top. Walk slowly back until your back is flat and your arms extended like an ‘L’ on its side. Hold it for a ten count then walk back to the counter until you are upright. Repeat this 5-10 times.
This is the traditional stretch that you probably learned in school. Keeping your legs and knees straight, bend and touch your toes. You do not have to go all the way down, but you do need to breathe and do this stretch slowly. The more you do this, the farther down you will be able to go. Hold the stretch for a ten count and repeat 5-10 times.
If doing these exercises doesn’t do much to ease your back pain, consider visiting a chiropractor.