Why a Child's Pose Stretch Can Secretly Thwart Lower Back Pain


1. Hip Flexor Stretch

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"Oftentimes, tight hip flexors can be the biggest contributor to lower back pain and tightness," says Sassos. "If you're in a prolonged sitting position, like at a desk job all day, this can directly affect your hip flexors and contribute to lower back pain and tightness." A kneeling hip flexor stretch can help loosen your hips to relieve and prevent back pain.

How to do a (kneeling) hip flexor stretch:

Kneel on both knees.


Place one foot forward and bend the knee so you have a 90-degree angle at the hip and knee. If needed, place your hands on the front knee for support. Keeping the torso upright, slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in your thigh. Move slowly back and forth five to 10 times, or maintain a hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

2. Hamstring Stretch

JOCHEN TACK//GETTY IMAGESThere are several different ways to do a hamstring stretch depending on your preference, but Marko recommends lying down and using a strap or exercise resistance band, as you can relax your back in this position. You should feel a stretch at the iliotibial band (a band of fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of your leg), adds Dr.



How to do a (lying) hamstring stretch:

Lie flat on your back with your legs fully stretched out. Place a strap or an exercise resistance band on the bottom of one foot. Holding the strap in both hands and pulling towards your chest, slowly and gently lift one leg up towards the ceiling, keeping your knee straight. Hold for 30 seconds. Lower your leg down to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat.

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3. Knee-to-Chest Stretch

DJORDJEDJURDJEVIC//GETTY IMAGESAccording to Marko, another good pose that focuses on the muscles of your lower back is the double knee-to-chest stretch.


You can also do another variation, a single knee-to-chest stretch, with just one leg.

How to do a double knee-to-chest stretch:

Lie on your back. Lift both knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around your legs just below your knees, and pull them to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds. You can also rock your body left and right as you hold your legs to massage your back gently.

4. Piriformis Stretch

SRDJANPAV//GETTY IMAGESMarko also recommends trying the piriformis stretch, also known as a supine figure 4 stretch.


This specific exercise works your piriformis muscle — a flat muscle that runs from your lower spine through your buttocks to the top of your thighs, as noted by the Mayo Clinic.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below How to do a piriformis stretch:

Lie on your back. Bring one leg up and cross it over the other leg. Rest your ankle on top of the knee to create a figure 4. Bring both legs up slowly and hold the thigh of the leg that your foot is resting on. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch legs and repeat.

5. Seated Spinal Twist


MIREYA ACIERTO//GETTY IMAGESThe seated spinal twist stretch is also known as the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (or Ardha Matsyendrasana) in yoga, as indicated by the non-profit organization The Art of Living Foundation, which offers self-development programs based on meditation and yoga. "This full-body stretch is amazing for improving spinal mobility, alleviating lower back pain and opening up the hips, among many other benefits," adds Sassos.

How to do a seated spinal twist:

Sit on the floor with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Lift your left foot and, bending your knee, place it flat on the ground on the outside of your right thigh. Place your right arm on the outside of your left leg, and place your left hand behind you for support. Gently twist your body to the left side. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat on the other side.



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