Back pain is unfortunately incredibly common, so it’s not surprising that many people are keen to find out how to stretch out your own back, particularly the lower back. It is really important to regularly stretch out the back in order to assist with mobility, reduce tension in the muscles which support the spine, and to reduce the risk of disability. Stretching is also essential if you follow a regular workout regime, particularly if it includes exercises such as squats and deadlifts.
Here are the most effective back stretches (it is recommended to hold each stretch for around 20-30 seconds, and to repeat them 5 times).
1. Chin to chest stretch
Bend your head forward, moving your chin towards your chest until you feel a slight pull int eh back of your neck.
2. Ear to shoulder stretch
Bend your neck to one side like you’re touching your ear to your shoulder until you feel the pulling sensation. Move to the other side.
3. Back flexion
Lie on the floor on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Then move your head forward until you feel a stretch in your lower back. You can also rock back and forth to massage the back with the floor.
4. Trunk rotation
Lie on the floor and bend your knees. Keep your upper back flat on the ground and move your legs towards one side of you, while reaching with your arm to the opposite side. Stay here and then repeat on the opposite side.
5. Child’s pose
Start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Move your hips back towards your feet and stretch your arms out in front of you, placing your palms onto the floor. Drop your head and chest down towards the floor.
6. Cat cow stretch
Again, start on all fours but this time round your back slowly, towards the ceiling, and drop your head down towards the ground. Then arch it towards the ground, raising your head to look up to the ceiling, and repeat.
The most important thing when performing these exercises is to maintain your breath – don’t forget to breathe in and out slowly, and push further into each stretch with every breath you take.