No one likes low back pain and tension. I really despise it. I REALLY do. Seriously — an unexpected pinch somewhere in my lower back region and my usually positive mood will turn south like a humming bird rushing to escape our Rocky Mountain winters (this winter has been pretty extreme with 2 feet of snow last week!). Our mind and body are so connected that a disruption in one will severely disturb the other. Needless to say that lower back “pinch” makes me feel much, much older than my 41 years and limits my workouts, teaching and filming … which makes for a sad fitness instructor.
With the tremendous amount of snow we received it took me more than three hours to shovel that 20+ inches off our driveway last week. I practiced the best possible form by switching sides frequently, using my legs and breathing into the movements but I was still a little sore after … especially my low back. Fortunately, I had these five gentle low back stretches in my repertoire to offer relief and bring me back to 100 percent in a short amount of time.
You may do these five muscle-releasing stretches anywhere and anytime. (It’s always a good idea to speak with your physician or physical therapist before beginning a new exercise routine, of course.) They work best when your muscles are already warm, but if you aren’t, you may move slowly into the stretches using your breath. For an added boost to your day, try practicing them first thing in the morning when your body is still warm and relaxed from sleep.
By most averages back pain affects an estimated 80 million people in America alone. I’m pleased to offer these stretches to bring some release, length and balance to your body. Add them to your arsenal and share them with your friends and family who need some of that sweet low-back release.
Which of these low back stretches brought the most release to you? Comment below! —Sean