Low Back Stretch Exercise

Low Back Stretch Exercise



Low Back Stretch Directions:

Step 1: Begin with your heels together and your toes straight ahead. Your arms will be at your side.

Step 2: You will extend your left leg out in front of your body. Your heel should be on the ground and your toes should be pointed upward. You will point your right foot rightward forty-five degrees. Bring your arms behind your back so that your left hand is holding your right wrist (Figure 141).

Step 3: While keeping your hips in a forward facing position, you will exhale as you lean your upper body forwardly so that your upper torso falls toward your left knee (Figure 142).

Step 4: While holding the current position, you will inhale and exhale for three cycles of diaphragmatic breaths. You should feel your lower back widen as you fill it and your lower abdomen with oxygen.

Step 5: With your last inhalation, you will begin to slowly rise from the position and return to center.

Step 6: Now, you will extend your right leg in front of your body. Your right heel should be firmly on the ground and the right toes should point upward. While keeping your hips in a forward facing position, you will exhale as you lean your upper body forwardly so that your upper torso falls toward your right knee. Repeat the breathing exercise (step 4) and return to center.

Step 7: You may repeat the low back stretch, alternating right and left legs, for two to three times each.

Key Points

* the proper body mechanics for the low back stretch may be difficult to achieve at first
* it may be helpful to use a bench or stool until you become proficient (Figure 143)
* your breath can be used to help you relax muscles, open up the back, and increase range of motion
* slowly increase your range of motion, without forcing the stretching action
* remember to coordinate your breathing so that you’re exhaling on lowering and inhaling as the body rises