If you’ve ever wondered why your lower backs hurts after a long day at the office, or after a sound night’s sleep, wonder no more. Your repetitive posture – slouching over your laptop while writing your Monday morning emails or sleeping in a stressful state of mind for example – can wear the ligaments alongside the support system of your spine, which can result in chronic lower back pain and discomfort. If you want to eliminate your immediate lower back pain, while increasing your flexibility, become a habitual stretcher. Give back to your lower back! Start your morning and end your evening with long and slow stretches. As a result, you’ll feel better, become energy-rejuvenated and best of all, treat your lower back with the kindness and gentleness it deserves.
Your Must-Have Morning Stretch
Create a new motto as you stretch each morning: Give back to your back! If you’ve ever had a wonderfully deep and relaxing night’s sleep, only to awaken with stiff and sore ligaments in your lower back region, you may wonder if anything can help relieve your pain. With twinges of discomfort throughout your work day, it’s hard to get much done, which is why it’s important to combine stretches that will target both your major and minor muscle groups. Your hip flexors, Gluteals and Hamstrings all need to be stretched adequately and each day in order to strengthen and relax your lower back as much as possible. Help your lower back help you! Practice the following exercises daily (twice daily if you’re able) and feel happier, lighter, smarter (yes, smarter!), more productive and stress-free than you have in years:
- Back extension. Nothing feels better than a slow back arch to relieve your body of stiffness. Start by lying on the floor, on your stomach. Place your hands below your shoulders, and slowly press yourself up until you make an arch with your back. If your neck is sore, look up the sky as you hold your back in its arch position. Make sure to go very slow with this stretching exercise, as going to fast can cause injury.
- Cat pose. If you’re familiar with beginning yoga poses, the cat pose should be a familiar exercise to implement in your lower back workout. If not, it’s easy to start doing today and the perfect spine stretch! You’ll need to start out on your knees and hands and with a round back. With your palms on the floor, slowly move your stomach in, until your back makes an arch. Then continue your movement by moving your back up until it repeats the ‘round back’ effect, similar to a cat when is stretching. Repeat 5-10 times daily.
- The baby curl up. Have you ever seen an infant lie down on their back, and curl up in a ball by holding onto their toes? Consider this stretch to not only mimic a pose that soothes any baby from anxiety, but a pose that always feels great for your lower back. Easy, too! Lie down flat on your back, and bend your legs up to the sky. Grip your toes and slowly move from the left side to the right, and finish off by facing center (still holding onto your toes!) You may look silly, but for a pain-free lower back, it’s worth it.