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7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

STRETCHING AGAIN!

You guys seemed to really like the post-workout stretch routine I recently posted, so I thought i’d follow up with another one! This time focusing on something that I know a LOT of people struggle with – back pain.

I myself have been unlucky enough to feel the debilitating effects of lower back pain. 7 years of rugby + tons of lifting heavy things in the gym will do that to a gal. It was so bad that I couldn’t deadlift, squat, run, or really get out of bed in the morning. AΒ sharp pain, slowly turning into a dull, consistent pain that prevented me from moving around freely.

These days I rarely have any pain, which has seriously been life changing. The two things that helped me to prevent lower back pain were:

1. Strengthening my glutes

2. Specific stretching that targeted my hips and back to loosen up the muscles.

The Ontario Chiropractic Association warns that failing to stretch BEFORE any exercise or sports can cause injury – YEP. If you think you are immune to back pain or mobility problems, trust me. It’s just waiting to happen to you.

I see so many gym goers walk up the stairs to the gym, and immediately start setting up at their bench or squat rack without a warm up. DON’T BE THAT PERSON. I seriously cringe every time it happens.

Regardless of the activity or workout you are doing, you should always incorporate some, or all, of these stretches below. Start with your shoulders and chest, and work your way down to your hamstrings and lower back. But before you even start these stretches, make sure you’ve gotten in some sort of cardio warm up – you don’t want to be stretching cold muscles. Think of stretching cold muscles like stretching a rubber band that has been out in the cold – it will snap right away. Without a proper warm up, your muscles are at risk of doing the same. (YES, SCARY).

All photos taken by the talented Bettina Bogar <3

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Reach Behind
Improves shoulder flexibility

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

In a seated (or standing) position, place your right arm behind your head. Grab your right elbow with your left hand, and use your left arm to push downwards on the right arm. You should feel a stretch in the shoulder and back of the right arm. Hold for 10 seconds, and repeat 2-3 times. Alternate on both sides

The Doorway Lean
Stretches the chest area and pectoral muscles

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

(If you don’t have a doorway to performΒ this stretch, you can perform it one arm at a time against a wall like in the photo). Begin by facing a doorway. Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees, and arms raised to shoulder height. Rest your hands and forearms against the door jamb. Lean forward slightly and you should feel a stretch across your chest. Hold for 5-10 seconds to start, and gradually work up to 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Lower Back Flexion
Stretches lower back muscles along the spine from base of skull down to pelvis

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Begin by lying with your back on the floor. Grasp each knee, or both knees together, and draw them to your chest. Hold for 5-10 seconds, and repeat 2-3 times.

Seated Forward Bend
Stretches lower back muscles along the spine from base of skull down to pelvis

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

In a chair, gently lean forward so that your chest is resting on your knees, or close to them. Try to touch your toes if possible. Hold for 5-10 seconds, and repeat 2-3 times.

Seated Hamstring Stretch
Stretches hamstring which runs from back of the pelvis to the knee joint

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Start by sitting on the floor and bringing one foot in towards the opposite thigh. Lean forward towards the knee of the outstretched leg. Bent forward from the hips to keep your lower back straight. Hold for 5-10 seconds to start, and gradually work up to 30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. ** Make sure you are moving from the hips, rather than rounding your back**

Dynamic Stretches to Achieve Better Posture

Twisting Star

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart with your arms out to the side. Then, pull your belly button into your spine and twist your spine to the left, turning your head in the direction of your left arm going behind you. Pause and then return to face forward. Do the same on your right side and repeat each side one more time.

Reach for the Sky

7 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms at your sides. Gently sweep your arms out from your sides up over your head. Be sure to touch your hands together before you release them back out and down to your side. Repeat 3 more times.

Improving your posture and ensuring you stretch prior to any workout or physical activity is imperative to preventing lower back pain and injury to your overall body. Bad posture can lead to fatigue, achy muscles, strain and pain in the lower back.

If you want to learn more about keeping your bones, muscles and joints healthy, in addition to these stretches and movements, head over the www.chiropractic.on.ca to find a local chiropractor!

What About You?!

  • Are you a victim of back pain? What do you do to avoid or minimize it?

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6 Stretches to Prevent Lower Back Pain. Lower back pain is something that tons of people struggle with every day. Learn how to alleviate it with these different stretches!

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  1. Liv @ Healthy Liv

    17 May

    I love this post, Beverley! Such a good reminder to stretch before working out and lifting heavy, which I’m way too guilty of sometimes skipping since I’ve been fortunate enough to not get injured often. Saving this post for future reference at the gym πŸ™‚

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